Tag: Northumberland pelagics

Cetacean season

by on Jun.30, 2011, under Birdwatching, North Sea, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast

As we approach July, there’s always a sense of anticipation when we’re close to the sea on a land-based trip, or at sea on one of our Northumberland Pelagics.  Good seawatching conditions over the next few months will see us gazing towards the east when the opportunity arises.  Seawatching may be one of the more specialised aspects of birdwatching, but it brings an element of unpredictability that can outweigh even our evening mammal trips.

After good cetacean sightings in February and March, while carrying out transect surveys for the Northeast Cetacean Project (NECP), I was excited to receive 2 reports of land-based observations on Sunday and Tuesday;  a possible pod of 5 Orcas was seen heading south past Lynemouth on Sunday evening and then 4 White-beaked Dolphins were off the mouth of the River Wansbeck on Tuesday evening.  The second of these species is the one that we’re most interested in, after all it is the primary focus for the NECP, however Sunday’s report set the pulse racing; almost mythical off the Northeast coast, maybe the ultimate apex predator, right at the top of the list of our ‘most-wanted’.  Maybe this will be the year when we finally connect with it, and my dreams about our forthcoming Farne Deeps pelagics seem to involve something black and white 😉  We’ve still got spaces on those 2 trips so give us a call on 01670 827465 to book your place now.

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British Birdwatching Fair 2010

by on Aug.25, 2010, under Birdwatching, Family and friends, North Pennines, North Sea, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast

We’ve been away for a few days, as part of the Birdwatching Northumberland consortium at the British Birdwatching Fair 2010.

Thursday started very early for Martin, with a North Pennines Prestige Tour for clients who were staying at Wallfoot in Carlisle.  Managing to avoid the worst of the weather, avian highlights included Merlin, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Red Grouse, Black Grouse, Whinchat and Wheatear.  The long drive down the M6 didn’t, unfortunately, miss the heavy rain.  However, a late arrival at the White Lion in Whissendine, and a few beers in the bar with such luminaries as Ipin set Martin up nicely for an early start on Friday.

Sarah was at work (in her ‘proper’ job) so, apart from attending a couple of lectures, Martin was on the Birdwatching Northumberland stand for all of the first day.

Saturday we planned to work ‘split’ shifts, but with Martin again spending most of his time on the stand; apart from another couple of lectures and one or two chats with clients, colleagues, suppliers, competitors and collaborators (both old and new).

Another excellent curry at the White Lion, and a ‘few’ beers, on Sataurday night was followed by the dawning of the final day of Bird Fair 2010.  One of us was a bit ‘under the weather’ but perked up in time to give his talk ‘The North Sea – a new birding frontier’ at 3.30pm.  What could have been a bit of a graveyard shift managed to generate a lot of interest, with 134 bird fair attendees making their way to the lecture marquee to enjoy a brief history of the Northumberland pelagics.  There were a few questions at the end of the lecture, then Martin was stopped and asked some more, for the next 10 minutes, as he headed back to the stand – where other people who had been in the lecture were waiting to ask more questions.

After three days at the Bird Fair we’d made a lot of new contacts, renewed some old acquaintances and we’ll shortly be entering exciting partnerships with some big names in the birding world.  Just a few very busy weeks to come first…

A final night in the midlands was followed by the journey north on Monday, and then a Prestige Tour yesterday.  Beginning with  an actively feeding Dipper was a good start then, with a particular request for wading birds, it was good to strike a rich vein on the coast; Green and Common Sandpipers, Greenshank, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Curlew, Whimbrel, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Dunlin and Ruff.  What seemed to go down better than all of the other birds though were the always impressive Grey Herons.

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