Stoatally different and otterly captivating; Druridge Bay mini-Safari 11/09/2013

by on Sep.18, 2013, under Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Southeast Northumberland

I collected Tim and Elizabeth from Church Point and we set out for an evening mini-safari around Druridge Bay and southeast Northumberland.  What now seems to have been several weeks of passage Black-tailed Godwits and Ruff was still evident, Common Snipe were being uncharacteristically obliging and Teal, Mallard, Wigeon and Gadwall were all dabbling around in good numbers.  Two sinuous predators were the stars of the afternoon though…

First, as I was scanning the water around a group of roosting Cormorants, was the big one; the elusive, enigmatic terror of the water.  The familiar twisting sinuous shape of an broke the surface just beyond the birds.  Diving, swimming, pausing at the surface to consume it’s catch, the Otter made it’s way across the pond before vanishing into a reed-lined bay.

Then came what is rapidly becoming my favourite mustelid; bouncing around like a jack-in-the-box, twisting, turning, executing somersaults worthy of an Olympic gymnast until it seemed to be just a blur, the Stoat was entrancing.  The more I see of these little predators, the more I like.  Stunningly beautiful (particularly in white winter ermine), inquisitive and possessing apparently boundless energy, any view of a Stoat for more than a split second is captivating 🙂

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