Woken at an unsociable 05:40 with "Dad could you get my snack?" by 3 breakfasts Moll I escaped to the sea. The recently neglected Kettleness produced 2 Velvet Scoter and the first Fulmar for weeks. The wind strengthened and shifted more to the north making viewing an uncomfortable experience so after an hour I packed up.
Back home and sheltered from the northerly the garden was rather pleasant and even after mowing the grass (lawn would be flattery) and digging out the clogged up drainage ditch I still managed some rather good birds. 3 Crossbill were the stars, 2nd garden record, but Treecreeper, 8 Mallard, Tree Sparrow, 2 Marsh Tit and Great Black-backed Gull added interest. Siskin are still about and the Chaffinch flock is approaching 50 but Goldfinch are down to 3 and Greenfinch to a similarly low number. Red Grouse continue to threaten to get on to the "in the garden list" but are still 100m or so shy. The daily trickle of Redwings and Fieldfares appears to have dried up although Redwing are still around and about in small numbers.
The rebuilt cafe at Sandsend was reopened this weekend, more seats and more windows plus a rather sumptuous veranda. The "closest to the sea cafe in the UK" one suspects. A drake Eider, c40 Common Scoter and the usual gulls were espied from its cosy interior this after'.
The sea was huge and approaching the high tide was threatening to engulf the road. (It did soak some friends who ventured a little too close on foot.) A small Common Seal sought shelter a little way up the stream and proved to be a popular attraction.