Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Super Silloth-on-Solway (and I thought it was just good for golf !)

A day out to Silloth-on-Solway was decided by John Milo and I as the weather was excellent all round for camara work, calm wind calm sea and visibility for viewing the wildlife on show. We took the two poodles Woody and Suzie as well to treat them to a first time visit to the sea side!
We set off at around 11:30 to get a good 5 hours in. We had the option of the old N reg bus or the new Audi A3 estate with cup holders and John chose the flamin bus to go in with no radio signal so we had to listen to his 70s tapes for the trip west.

Silloth Beach (1), Drift wood and Criffel in the distance

After getting a chippy in the town centre the first stop off was Silloth Beach (1) to do a bit of sea watching and give the dogs a debut beach walk. We parked up a the docks and looked over to the other side of the port to find a group of Redshank, Oystercatcher and a solitary Heron. When on the beach front looking over to the scots side we got 15 plus Cormorant and 3 Grey Seal (4) which are always a joy to see.

Whilst heading along Skinburness road on our way to the Solway we spotted a well carmoflaged group of Turnstone (2) on the rocky shoreline. A Solitary Knot was in amoungt them as well.

Turnstone on the Harbour (2)


We got to the main event at the mouth of the estury where it all happens! We parked at Skinburness (3) and headed down on a public route towards oppening of the sea (5) looking out to the mudflats all the way down the track.

The estury with Skiddaw and Helvellyn in the background

Our first action was a huge flock of Pink footed Goose and Barnacle geese feeding together. A huge number of Yellowhammer were calling from over the hedgerow and as I looked over to check them out there must of been a flock of upto 200 I had disturbed and it was quite a sight! especially the stunning in colour male bird. We also got a pair of Reed Bunting as well.

Female Yellowhammer

There was a good number of waders around and the magic weather made it all the more enjoyable to watch. There was 154 Twite counted and also 100 plus Dunlin moving. There was also Distant Shellduck, last time I seen one of those birds a White-tailed Eagle landed on top of it up in Strathbeg, Aberdeenshire! Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Curlew on show in good numbers. 55 Pintail came past on the way back to the car as well.

Snow Covered Skiddaw

1. Silloth Beach

2. Skinburness Rocky Shoreline, Turnstone

3. Skinburness

4. Grey Seal

5. Solway Estury

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