I arrived at Church Point, to collect Clive, Val, Nicola and Mark ahead of a day searching for Otters around Druridge Bay and southeast Northumberland, knowing that if the weather forecast was accurate our usual dusk sightings of these elusive predators would be in jeopardy…
I’d planned the day so that we’d be at exposed locations in the nicer weather of the morning and early afternoon and then with plenty of options to shelter from the forecast rain, wind and falling temperatures later in the day. Our first site for the day wasn’t looking promising – lots of disturbance tends to not make for good otter spotting. Little Grebe, Cormorant, Curlew, Mallard, Tufted Duck and Goldeneye were all apparently unmenaced by any rampaging mustelids so I started a systematic search of the most likely spots…and there was an Otter cub, out of the water and munching happily on a fish 🙂 We watched it as it returned to hunting and then it vanished, only to reappear a few minutes later alongside a second Otter 🙂 With two photographers amongst the group the next 2 hours passed in a whirr of clicking shutters as the Otters dived, surfaced, fed, clambered around on boulders and eventually vanished from sight.
After lunch, we had close views of the long-staying Shorelarks, feeding with a flock of Ringed Plover, and a more distant view of the Pacific Diver, more Goldeneye, Mallard and Tufted Duck as well as Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Scaup, Lapwing, Grey Heron, Gadwall, Red-breasted Merganser and an impressive flock of Pink-footed Geese, with at least 12 White-fronted Geese scattered amongst them. By the time the heavy rain arrived, driven by a cold westerly wind, we were back in the car and returning to Newbiggin. Timing is everything 😉
If you’d like to join us in a search for Otters, please do get in touch. Here’s a cub from 2 years ago 🙂