Having read Alan Tilmouth's blog, and with his County Year Ticks being Lifers for me, it was off up north 'early doors'. Crackin' idea, for a change. En route to Bamburgh to see the Black Guillemot first. A few Buzzards silhouetted against the rising sun (I am sounding like the Boulmer Birder a bit here. Not that that's a bad thing!). Plenty on the well lit mill pond as viewed from Stag Rock's dewy benches. At least three Slavs, half a dozen RTDs, several Common Guillemots and more Shags and Cormorants than I have ever seen on the sea before - rafts of them! Fifty Purple Sandpipers, four Brents north, three LTDs on the sea and numerous gulls. But no BG!.
Ah well, off to Budle Bay. No Snow Goose, but loads of Barnacle Geese, a few Greylags, Wigeon, Shelduck and Redshank a plenty, 20 Whoopers, two Mutes, and a few Bar-tailed Godwits.
Thought I would try for the Bearded Tit at Holy Island. Always good to arrive a find a few big lenses there (the iconic Colin Pears and equally talented Venetia), as well as Andy Cowell, Alan the Butcher and one or two others. And as I neared the throng, the bird lifted and settled in the reeds to the north of the Lough hide just over my shoulder. This preceded a minute or two of birding XTC. Great albeit brief views, but very close. Doubtless, Birguides will have the fruits of CP/V's labours on later.
And on the way back to the car, AC told me the BG had been seen again at Stag, so back there where AtB put me in the right direction and voila, Lifer No. 2 for today.