Five star birdwatching; Northumberland Coast 20/02/14

by on Feb.23, 2014, under Birdwatching, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast

Our fourth trip this week was a day birdwatching with Simon, who was back again after previous trips including a stunning Farne Deeps pelagic in 2012.  We’d spoken in advance of the trip and Simon was keen to add a few of Northumberland’s wintering birds to his life list; divers, grebes, Purple Sandpiper and Brambling were all mentioned as desirable.

When I arrived to collect him on Thursday morning, I was still wrestling with the challenge of heading inland for Brambling, yet leaving plenty of time to explore the Northumberland coast.  That worry was quickly taken away, as putting a feeder up outside the holiday cottage meant that Simon had found one of the species on his wish list himself 🙂  Covering most of the coast from north to south produced five lifers;  Red-throated Divers just beyond the surf, Long-tailed Ducks including a breathtakingly beautiful drake, Purple Sandpipers unobtrusively poking around in rock pools, displaying Goldeneye rivaling the attractiveness of the Long-tailed Ducks and, as the afternoon light faded and the rain finally arrived, a very obliging Water RailTwite, Stonechat, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Skylark, Marsh Harrier, Slavonian, Little and Red-necked Grebes, Shelduck, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Grey and Golden Plover, Lapwing, Gannet, Curlew, Teal, Mallard and Wigeon may have been reduced to a supporting role for the day, but all combined to produce an excellent day’s birdwatching on the Northumberland coast 🙂

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2 Comments for this entry

  • Simon Wood

    A really enjoyable day’s birding, with my highlight undoubtedly being the Water Rail – I’ve spent years not seeing one at any number of places, so to have one pottering about in full view for 15 minutes after only having waited about 5 minutes was truly memorable. Stag Rocks were great, but the flock of 600 or so Common Scoter (unfortunately I couldn’t catch the one or two Velvet in with them) was the highlight of the sea watching. And always go back and have another look – we wouldn’t have seen the Marsh Harrier otherwise! Martin is engaging company and I really enjoyed our trip. All I have to do now is persuade my wife we need another winter break in Northumberland next year!

  • martin

    Hi Simon. That Water Rail really was very obliging, and flocks of Common Scoter are one of my favorite things during the winter 🙂 Northumberland in the winter is a great place – sure Gill won’t take too much persuading 🙂

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