Thanks to Nick Moran at BTO BirdTrack for providing a list of birds for NZ26 before Christmas. The list shows 182 species and with an additional 4 Cat E birds. This is going to be a challenge as my current total stands at about half of this.
However there are some good birds out there if you go and look. A Boxing Day walk along the Tyne from the Metro Centre to the Sage confirmed that while this is going to be a challenge it is worth looking. On the walk out I was pleased with two bullfinches in the tetrad covering central Newcastle and also how close you can get to the teal and curlew feeding on the river. However, the prize goes to a 1st winter yellow-legged gull feeding in the mud by Dunston Staith. In the diminishing light its white head screamed out for attention. And it was close enough had I taken a camera to get a good picture. The next day in better light the bird had moved to the Elswick side of the Tyne, but it was good enough with a scope to get the features down to make a submission once it has been written up. This British Birds paper from 1994 by Martin Garner was helpful.
The day concluded with female peregrine chasing a crow and then after the fly past settling on a perch only a couple of metres from a male. If only this was 2015.