Mostly the holiday crowds were avoided but Northumberland was a bit hectic. Some targets were reached, but some (red squirrel, otter) were understandably elusive.
The Boulmer Birder, Stewart, acted as an informative and skilled guide, conjuring up spotted redshank, goosanders, whimbrel and arctic skua as well as pointing me in the direction of the various sites along the coast for roseate terns, wood sandpiper and curlew sandpiper.
He also emulated his countyman Ross Noble in pleasuring toads. Most impressive, however, was finding a sparrowhawk from the twittering of swallows, while he was driving the car.
Sympathising with my perennial failure to twitch hoopoes, he showed me the Northern subspecies, setting me up nicely for John's photo of southern twitcher.
Along the coast I found some sea rocket, which I hadn't previously seen, or tasted. Believe me, I wished that I hadn't tried it. Bitter?
There were great views of golden plover and terns at Newbiggen, but being without skilled assistance by then, I found distinguishing roseates from others rather difficult.
A heron and a couple of greenshanks provided some diversion while waiting for otters to stir at Druridge, in the rain.
Eiders obliged (attracted by chips) at Amble, where the populace filled the pub opposite my window for the evening, serenading me to sleep to the accompaniment of the karaoke machine.
I've followed Stewart's blog for a while now, and have been impressed by what he sees and the surroundings that he has chosen - now I'm just astonished that he ever turns up to work on time, with so many distractions.
A few other points of interest.........
A going osprey at Rutland Water