Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Northumberland Coast...

On Monday 25th I headed over the east coast for a days birding with Guy. The winds were still strong and from the east. I had not covered the east side too much with just a few visits with my friend Gary a few years back so looking forward to working some new grounds. We had heard reports of large number of Auks blown inland with the majority not surviving so there was disturbing scenes throughout the day.

Our first site was the freshwater body of Cresswell ponds where we got a pair of Long-tailed Duck and a few Gadwell. We checked Druridge Bay where we seen our first Auk casualties with 2 Puffins, a Razorbill and 2 Guillemots in a small area.  

Puffin on Druridge Bay...

Dead Gannet on Newbiggin...


We headed north to Amble to check the harbour and surrounding area for species brought in with the wind. Just Eiders seen as we didn't hang about at the pier as it was very exposed and brutal!  
We had lunch in the tern hide at Hauxley as we watched Wigeon numbers build up. A single Little Grebe and a pair of Gadwell. Greylag and Canada Geese overhead.

Drake Gadwell...

We moved onto Newbiggin-by-the-sea which provided some good activity with two adult Med Gulls showing and a few exhausted Puffins in the bay. Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Turnstones and Redshank on the exposed shoreline. Oystercatchers and Eider using the wave breaker to good effect. A dead Gannet and Razorbill also seen as we moved on south.

Med Gull in Big Seas...

Med Gull sat with a Black-head

Eiders sheltering behind wave breakers...

Eiders and Oystercatchers taking refuge...


I read on my phone about Snowbunting been seen at Blyth but could not get a pinpoint location so we carried on south to St Marys. 5 Common Scoter and Eiders close in. Purple Sandpipers and Turnstone showing well for the camera. At least 4 Little Gulls seen as I enjoyed my best views of the bird. Seeing them next to Black backs really does do their name justice. 

Little Gull at St Marys...

Beautiful underwings...
Purple Sandpipers...

St Marys...

A good finish to the day and a very enjoyable time on the east coast battling some brutal conditions to see some lovely locations and great birds.


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