A flock of Goldfinch and Siskin held a few Lesser Redpoll, but nothing rarer.
A scarce bird for Gateshead was the female Pochard on Saltwell Park lake along with 50+ Tufted Duck.
|Taiga Bean Geese|
|Great Grey Shrike|
|Pacific Diver (22nd Jan)- a pre-work twitch to Druridge Bay Country Park for stunning views as it hugged the shore.|
|Night Heron (1st August)- a dash after work to Whittle Dene Reservoir. Initially crap views as it roosted high in a pine, then a brilliant series of fly-byes in stunning evening light.|
|Scops Owl (27th September)- ran out of the Obs in blind panic before some careful driving meant I was just the third person to see this cracker at Ryhope.|
|Cliff Swallow (2nd October)- the downer of dipping Rose-breasted Grosbeak on St. Agnes was quickly forgotten after a jet-boat ride in the pouring rain to Tresco for this massive pull-back from last year.|
|Cedar Waxwing (3rd October)- arriving on the same weather system as the Swallow this beauty led us all on a wild goose chase around St. Agnes before giving itself up and showing well for several days.|
|Wilson's Snipe (11th October)- in the pending file, this striking Snipe was at Porthellick, St. Mary's. Photos by others of the under-wing and tail seem to show this is the real deal. I did have brief scope views of another strong candidate a couple of days later.|
|Eastern Orphean Warbler (13th October)- an embarrassingly bad photo, with every possible camera setting wrong. Many hours of frustration on St. Agnes before getting good views on day two.|
|Rose-coloured Starling (15th June)- after dipping the previous day, this eventually appeared and showed well at Stanhope.|
Red-rumped Swallow (15th May)- not expecting the single bird reported still at Druridge Pools I stopped en-route for an ice-cream, only to arrive to two Swallows.
|Sabine's Gull (17th July)- eventually stunning, close views after two frustrating hours of searching at Nosterfield.|
|Citrine Wagtail (12th May)- an after work twitch. Driving through fog and fading light I wasn't expecting this. Amazing views down to just 6 feet. Possibly my bird of the year.|
|Long-billed Dowitcher (12th July)- a couple of hours basking in the sun on Boulmer beach waiting for the tide to push this closer were rewarding with great views in perfect light.|
|Red-backed Shrike (3rd June)- arrived at Marsden to news that this had flown, but luckily it reappeared to pose.|
|Bee-eater (2nd November)- not an expected winter bird at Whitburn. I'm far too old to be climbing trees to take photos!|
|Grey Phalarope (8th November)- the best year ever for these from Whitburn Obs, this very confiding bird was a regular at South Shields Pier.|
|American Golden Plover (11th October)- just a few feet away from where I ticked my first on Porthellick Beach, St. Mary's.|
|Short-toed Lark (10th May)- my first away from Scilly, in the amazing setting high on the moor above Catton.|
|Eastern Orphean Warbler|