Last week we returned to England to attend the funeral of my Mum’s oldest friend, who died aged 91.The funeral was sad but it went as well as these things can go. While we were in the area we had a bit of time to look at some of our favourite places and to see a few birds. At St Mary’s Lightouse it was blowing a gale and I had to hold tight to the car door for fear it would end up in the North sea, and me along with it! I had to get out the car though to check the beach and the rocks for waders. I found Turnstone, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Cormorant, and a small group of Eider Ducks on the sea. On the nearby fields there were lots of Lapwings and about 10 Curlews. At the North Shields fish quay and later at Tynemouth we saw plenty of Herring Gulls and Black headed Gulls and several young Starlings all hanging around the car parks where people tend to give them their leftover chips.