Sunday and Monday illustrated the range of things that NEWT do on a regular basis.
Sunday saw me leaving the office at 03:30 and driving to Alnwick. Highlight of the drive was a Barn Owl, hunting alongside the A1 near Eshott. After collecting Helen and Steve, two of our returning clients, we headed to Bamburgh, and a rendezvous with the sunrise. Landscape photography tuition was first on the menu, followed by some macro photography around the rock pools at low tide. All the while, the crowds were building further along the beach in the shadow of Bamburgh Castle, enjoying views of the Black Scoter just offshore. Once the sun was well above the horizon, and the shadows were getting too harsh, it was time to drive back to Alnwick.
A walk around Choppington Woods in the afternoon produced plenty of butterflies, Small White, Large White, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Comma, and the unexpected patch tick of Hooded Crow. We weren’t finished yet though, and an evening excursion in southeast Northumberland produced excellent views of 2 of our favourites; Tawny Owl and Badger.
Yesterday morning, the day dawned overcast and calm; ideal for our latest Northeast Cetacean Project Transect Survey. I met up with Maeve, Claire, Rachael and Steve at Royal Quays and we set out on just about the flattest sea I’ve ever seen. Even 4 miles offshore it was glassy calm. Cetacean sightings were down compared to the February/March surveys, with a pod of 4 Harbour Porpoises being the only sighting of the day. Avian highlights were our first Manx Shearwater and Pomarine Skua for the year, and lots of Puffins throughout the day.
Now it’s Tuesday morning and I’m getting ready for 9 tours with clients in the next 11 days. Hopefully I’ll find time to blog…