Trip reports

Eden Estuary

Adult whooper swans feeding in fields

Monday, 27 October 2014

It was a very, very windy but warm day when a few of us arrived at Out Head. The wind was blowing the sand so that it was hard to hold our telescopes and we abandoned the attempt with sightings of four whooper swans overhead and a wren, meadow pipit and stonechat sheltering in the hedge near the cars. We moved on to view the Eden river from Guardbridge and walk along the river bank for a short distance. On the short journey we saw a buzzard overhead.
Our first view from the bridge showed a pair of little egrets, two grey herons and a little grebe. Walking along the bank we saw the usual gulls, redshanks, cormorants, oystercatchers, and two goosanders, but they were difficult to identify clearly. We also saw two greenshanks feeding in the mud.
After lunch we moved on to the hide. The tide was coming in and we were lucky enough to see a group of at least twelve greenshank, along with godwits, a raft of eiders, teal, mallard, dunlin, sanderlings, wigeon and a pair of mergansers. The sun lit up a large flock of golden plovers and a number of skeins of pink-footed geese were seen and heard. The little egrets made a fly past too. We wondered if we had also seen a gadwall. A pheasant made up the numbers. On the feeders were tits, greenfinches, chaffinches, tree sparrows, a robin and a siskin. It was quite a long drive for such poor weather, but we felt the day had been rewarding.