• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Northumberland (1 Viewer)

Himalaya

Well-known member
I have never been to the North East of England I have been in that direction is York, Ripon and Flamborough. I have always wanted to visit this part of England I was going to go earlier in June and who knows I could have seen the Red Necked Stint but work and bad organising got in the way.
Northumberland had bagged 4 big birds recently - the American Northern Mocking bird, Red Necked Stint, Pacific Swift and a Soft Plumaged Petrel. I don't think it would have got any better than that. A 3 hour drive from my home in the North West.
The first stop was at an English heritage site called Warkworth Castle then a privately owned castle named Alnwick. Both were in the Amble area which is where I was staying. I was free by the late afternoon so I checked in where I was staying and headed to the Druridge Bay area. At sea there were quite a lot of Common scoters possibly 100 plus, Eider, some Auks, what looked like a Manx Shearwater, a few Little Gulls possibly, Sandwich Terns, Kittiwakes. I didn't have a scope so maybe missed a few species. A quick stop at Cresswell Ponds Nature Reserve run by Northumberland Wildlife Trust and amongst the commoner species of gulls were a Whimbrel, Curlew, Redshank, Avocet, Lapwing, Oystercatcher with good numbers of Linnet, Goldfinch, Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
After that I stopped by at the dunes in Druridge Country Park. 3 Grey Partridges were disturbed by a dog off a lead and a Cuckoo flew in the direction of Druridge Pools. I was told that this was a female and she was annoying the local Meadow Pipits. I am sure it is the latest Cuckoo I have seen? I had a walk in the dunes and managed to see at least 10 Dark Green Fritillary. This was only the second time I had encountered this species knowingly so it was nice to see. They were very flighty but I did manage to eventually photograph some that had settled. I could see some Scoters, Eiders, Auks, Gulls and Terns out at sea. I decided to have a look at Druridge Pools where the Spoonbill stuck out like a sore thumb. Sadly it was asleep and did not do much else! A Snipe was also nice to see. Avocet, Black Tailed Godwits were the best of the waders. It was nice to see families of Gadwall, Swallows, Coot and Moorhen. It was forecast to rain all day but the sun came out and stayed out.

On Day 2 it was my trip to Holy Island and the Farne Islands with Billy Shiels boat trips from Seahouses. It was an 11am start and we would be back for 4.30pm. I wish the trip could have been earlier so I had more time wen it was supposed to be dry later on. The boat was going to set off at 11am and the rain was going to stop about that time too. As we queued it was still raining and now the forecast said it was going to stop at 4pm. I was hoping maybe out at sea it may not rain but it did and it did not stop. Everyone barring 2 people had a rain poncho and I was in the latter group. I had my jacket but it was not going to keep me dry. Dolphins were sighted of the bottle nosed variety which were a species I have never seen before. They managed to take our mind off the incessant rain for some time especially the calf but they disappeared leaving the passengers in a pretty miserable state. The passengers were all huddled up and on their faces were signs of why have I put myself through this? I tried to let the sea birds take my mind off the rain but the many Seals, Gannets, Shags, Eiders, Sandwich Terns, Common Terns, Little Terns, various commoner Gulls, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Puffins, few Razorbill, single Fulmar and a probable Arctic Skua could not stop me wishing I had stayed off this trip. The numbers of birds seen were very high. What amazed me was how productive this part of the sea was for birds. There were so many sea birds out here! It was amazing. I half expected the Black Browed Albatross which had appeared at Bempton to show up.

On arrival at Holy Island I went straight to a shelter and then to a cafe. The cafes were full but I managed to find a space next to a kind lady who was probably a bit shocked I had 2 Tiffins - mint and honeycomb! I gave her a look that said I had struggled and earned this reward! There were 2 groups of ladies from the boat each group consisting of 3 women who decided to get a taxi back. They would have to wait a couple of hours for the tide to recede I told them but they were okay with that. I told them at least they had Ponchos. They replied a Poncho would not have made a difference on a day like this and then I felt better. I bought a Poncho anyway and headed off to Lindisfarne Priory. I visited all these English Heritage sites and realised I should have become a member for a year! Our 2 hour staying was coming to an end and once on the boat the we were asked how many wanted to visit the Farne Islands as planned to which I voted yes but most voted no, let's get back. Quite a few passengers must have decided to go back by taxi but the rain had subsided a little and my spirits were up! It was wet and the sea was choppy but I enjoyed the journey back. A large bird flew into view and I nearly shouted Albatross but it was another Gannet. If I was impressed by the size of a Gannet I wonder how an Albatross would have appeared to me?

I was very disappointed we did not go to the Farne Islands but next time! At Seahouses I caught sight of what I thought was a Herring Gull but with obvious Yellow Legs. The back appeared a bit darker but not as dark as a Lesser Black Backed Gull. Another Gull with Yellow Legs and a medium grey back landed near it which was then chased off. I took some pics and wondered how common are Yellow Legged Gulls in Northumberland?
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
After that I stopped by at the dunes in Druridge Country Park. 3 Grey Partridges were disturbed by a dog off a lead and a Cuckoo flew in the direction of Druridge Pools. I was told that this was a female and she was annoying the local Meadow Pipits. I am sure it is the latest Cuckoo I have seen? I had a walk in the dunes and managed to see at least 10 Dark Green Fritillary. This was only the second time I had encountered this species knowingly so it was nice to see. They were very flighty but I did manage to eventually photograph some that had settled. I could see some Scoters, Eiders, Auks, Gulls and Terns out at sea. I decided to have a look at Druridge Pools where the Spoonbill stuck out like a sore thumb. Sadly it was asleep and did not do much else! A Snipe was also nice to see. Avocet, Black Tailed Godwits were the best of the waders. It was nice to see families of Gadwall, Swallows, Coot and Moorhen. It was forecast to rain all day but the sun came out and stayed out.

On Day 2 it was my trip to Holy Island and the Farne Islands with Billy Shiels boat trips from Seahouses. It was an 11am start and we would be back for 4.30pm. I wish the trip could have been earlier so I had more time wen it was supposed to be dry later on. The boat was going to set off at 11am and the rain was going to stop about that time too. As we queued it was still raining and now the forecast said it was going to stop at 4pm. I was hoping maybe out at sea it may not rain but it did and it did not stop. Everyone barring 2 people had a rain poncho and I was in the latter group. I had my jacket but it was not going to keep me dry. Dolphins were sighted of the bottle nosed variety which were a species I have never seen before. They managed to take our mind off the incessant rain for some time especially the calf but they disappeared leaving the passengers in a pretty miserable state. The passengers were all huddled up and on their faces were signs of why have I put myself through this? I tried to let the sea birds take my mind off the rain but the many Seals, Gannets, Shags, Eiders, Sandwich Terns, Common Terns, Little Terns, various commoner Gulls, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Puffins, few Razorbill, single Fulmar and a probable Arctic Skua could not stop me wishing I had stayed off this trip. The numbers of birds seen were very high. What amazed me was how productive this part of the sea was for birds. There were so many sea birds out here! It was amazing. I half expected the Black Browed Albatross which had appeared at Bempton to show up.

On arrival at Holy Island I went straight to a shelter and then to a cafe. The cafes were full but I managed to find a space next to a kind lady who was probably a bit shocked I had 2 Tiffins - mint and honeycomb! I gave her a look that said I had struggled and earned this reward! There were 2 groups of ladies from the boat each group consisting of 3 women who decided to get a taxi back. They would have to wait a couple of hours for the tide to recede I told them but they were okay with that. I told them at least they had Ponchos. They replied a Poncho would not have made a difference on a day like this and then I felt better. I bought a Poncho anyway and headed off to Lindisfarne Priory. I visited all these English Heritage sites and realised I should have become a member for a year! Our 2 hour staying was coming to an end and once on the boat the we were asked how many wanted to visit the Farne Islands as planned to which I voted yes but most voted no, let's get back. Quite a few passengers must have decided to go back by taxi but the rain had subsided a little and my spirits were up! It was wet and the sea was choppy but I enjoyed the journey back. A large bird flew into view and I nearly shouted Albatross but it was another Gannet. If I was impressed by the size of a Gannet I wonder how an Albatross would have appeared to me?

I was very disappointed we did not go to the Farne Islands but next time! At Seahouses I caught sight of what I thought was a Herring Gull but with obvious Yellow Legs. The back appeared a bit darker but not as dark as a Lesser Black Backed Gull. Another Gull with Yellow Legs and a medium grey back landed near it which was then chased off. I took some pics and wondered how common are Yellow Legged Gulls in Northumberland?
Nice report!
Please keep them coming, now that the virus is fading.
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
A quick morning to visit Hauxley Nature Reserve and the highlights were Sanderlings and Tree Sparrows. Ringlet butterflies were out in big numbers too. A walk around the reserve produced an immature Whinchat.
I had a Coquet island trip booked at 12 noon so I arrived at Amble and waited to board the boat. A young couple who were visiting from London and staying at a relatives house wanted to join the boat trip but they were told all spaces were booked up. I advised them to stay the 20 minutes until 12 noon just in case someone dropped out. They lost hope and slunk away. 3 people had not turned up and that young couple and their accompanying Northern relative would have all got s space on the boat. Patience is a virtue and never give up hope especially if it only costs you 15-20 minutes!

There were a few Eider around the harbour. Out at sea Puffins, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Sandwich Terns, Common Terns and Arctic Terns were plentiful. Razorbills were just a few. There were quite a few Grey Seals around but sadly no sign of any Dolphins or Porpoises. I struggled to see any Roseate Terns from the boat once we stopped near the island. It took a while but then eventually I saw 1 then 2. then 3...and then a few more. I was relieved as this was a lifer. Time was up and we had to go back. I had a bit of lunch at Lily's Landing which was right next to the harbour followed by the best Sticky Toffee pudding I had ever eaten in my life. I ordered it with cream. I did not order a coffee from there as kb57 had recommended that pod Mocha Mondo, which was very busy when I first walked past it. After I had my lunch I ordered a Cappuccino and must say it is one of the smoothest I have ever tasted. So yes I would recommend Mocha Mondo myself too and the sticky toffee pudding at Lily's Landing! It was nice to end my birding trip with that note. Northumberland is a place I would definitely visit again!
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Users who are viewing this thread

Top