Monday had me heading to Killingworth for a rendezvous with Brian, the birder from that location. I had an hour or so to myself around the lakes before we were meeting up and wandered towards to car park end having been enticed there by distant views of Goldeneye. Before that i espied 4 female and a single male Goosander. Always distant, always in the middle of the water, frustratingly. From one set of super birds to another and i had 5 male and 4 female Goldeneye surprisingly in the proximity of a lady who, having spoken to her, regularly feeds the birds. The lady in question kept disappearing from view occasionally disappearing in the melee of Swans and Geese. It was nice to get fairly close to the Goldeneye, who are another species that tend to drift to the middle of the lake as you approach, with the added bonus of some displaying.
I eventually met up with Brian and the account of most of the rest of the day can be read here.
Briefly though. A smart Ruff caught the eye at Shibdon. 2 pair of Bullfinch at Clara Vale. A number of Short-eared Owl were entertainng, as ever, at Prestwick Carr and i got to see the Great Grey Shrike at much closer quarters than i had done weeks ago when it had first arrived.