Tag: pelagic

Becalmed; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 22/07/2014

by on Aug.05, 2014, under North Sea, Northumberland

Sometimes the North Sea is almost mirror-calm, an opportunity to watch the jellyfish passing by and lose yourself in the reflection of the sky ūüôā

North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,dolphin watching Northumberland,dolphin watching North Sea,pelagic birdwatching

We’ve still got a few spaces on our Farne Deeps trips, which are our best trips for encountering White-beaked Dolphin and other marine mammals, on 12th and 28th August from Royal Quays, and our birdwatching-focused trips from Royal Quays on 23rd August, 6th September and 13th September.¬† Our Whale and Dolphin Cruise from Seahouses on 30th August is an excellent introduction to offshore wildlife for all the family too ūüôā¬† Give us a call on 01670 827465 for more details, or have a look at our North Sea pelagic page.

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When the north wind blows

by on Aug.16, 2010, under Birdwatching, Northumberland

We had a couple of disappointments at the end of last week, both due to the weather.¬† First we had to¬†postpone our Farne Deeps Pelagic and then I was booked on a trip to the Dogger Bank, which also fell victim to the strong northerlies.¬† Both trips have been rescheduled though so, fingers crossed, they will happen eventually.¬† We’ve got a few places available for the Farne Deeps on September 3rd, although most of our original participants quickly arranged days off work when I gave them the new date, so call us on 01670 827465 to reserve your place on this groundbreaking trip.

With Friday morning clear in my diary I managed a¬†spot of¬†seawatching; that most esoteric form of birdwatching.¬† Then we had a couple of nights in Whitby, followed by a visit to Chesterfield for a Christening, and then home again late last night.¬† While we were away there was a missed call on my mobile; Alan Tilmouth wondering if we’d be interested in a trip across to the Longstone if Saturday’s Thrush Nightingale had remained there overnight.¬† As it was it hadn’t, and we were away anyway.¬† Then, last night came the news of a Booted/Sykes’s Warbler at Hadston Links.¬† With a frantic two weeks ahead of us, I had to work hard to convince myself that I had the time to go and see the bird ūüėČ

Booted/Sykes's Warbler, Hadston Links, Northumberland 16/08/2010

 

Booted/Sykes's Warbler, Hadston Links, Northumberland 16/08/2010

Now these two species¬†are a tricky pair to separate and, despite information put out by various bird information services earlier today, I know that the ID isn’t considered to be cut and dried.¬† For what it’s worth, I’ll stick my neck out and say that, on balance, I’m leaning towards Booted Warbler.¬† The real problem though is that in some images it looks very much like a Booted Warbler, in some it¬†looks like¬†Sykes’s.¬† In real life it was just as perplexing, apparently morphing from one to the other.¬† Is it a Booted Warbler, fluffing itself up against the cold (the opinion I expressed to another local blogger after I saw the bird this morning), or a Sykes’s Warbler that occasionally looks sleeker than expected?

Another remarkable warbler earned¬†a local birder, and occasional Northern Experience Pelagic participant, a major honour this month.¬† Dougie Holden, the finder of the Trow Quarry Eastern Crowned Warbler, won the Carl Zeiss Award, which is presented for the photograph or set of photographs considered to have been the most instructive during BBRC’s assessment of rarities over the previous year.

As if all these rare warblers weren’t enough to be going on with, I went into the kitchen this morning only to find Sarah staring intently through her binoculars.¬† Wood Warbler is an extraordinary bird for a southeast Northumberland garden, but there it was.¬† Neither of us had that down as the next addition to the garden list but, as with most of the really good birds on our list, it’s no surprise that Sarah found it ūüôā

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A pelagic birdwatching guide’s approach to exercise

by on Aug.03, 2010, under Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Family and friends, Northumberland, Southeast Northumberland

In the last week we’ve had a few days out with clients, but gentle, short walks birdwatching¬†in Druridge Bay, southeast Northumberland¬†and on Holy Island¬†rather than the somewhat more strenuous treks into the Cheviots or the North Pennines.¬† I can’t currently use the exercise bike when I’ve got a day in the office – because I broke one of the¬†pedals.¬† Yesterday though, I managed to find an activity which, after 2 hours left me barely able to move…

I’d had a good day, stayed focused, achieved (almost) everything on my daily task list and decided to start preparing things for this coming Friday’s pelagic (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday daytime are already booked with clients).¬† First task was to strip, clean, oil and re-assemble our chum grinder.¬† Then the bulk of the ‘chum’; prepare 3.5kg of popcorn…that’s 35 large pans full of the stuff.¬† I dropped the pan lid on myself, along with some sizzling hot oil, but not to worry…it’s a purposeful activity.

Then a brief detour into a very important task; Sarah’s on her way home from work and it’s my turn to cook.¬† Having checked the contents of the freezer, the fridge and the cupboards earlier in the day I decided that the all-new efficient Martin was going to serve up something special;¬† Guineafowl breast, stuffed with mozzarella and chorizo, wrapped in streaky bacon and served on a bed of couscous and roasted vegetables.¬† More by good luck than good judgement, everything was¬†ready at the same time.¬† Then I cleared away the dishes, did the washing up, cleaned all the kitchen work surfaces…have I been taken over by aliens ūüôā

Then to the real work of preparing the ‘chum’.¬† Slowly, painstakingly, just a few handfuls at a time all that popcorn needed to go through the grinder.¬† Sarah did some work in the office, I was grinding popcorn.¬† Sarah went for a 5km run, I was still grinding popcorn.¬† Eventually, after 2 hours, it was all done.¬† Moths were swarming around the patio, Common Pipistrelles were swishing close by my head, Red Foxes were calling in the woods behind the house and it was so dark that I could only just see to find my way around the garden.¬† I added a mixture of oils to the popcorn, put the lid on, and there it will sit until Friday evening when it will be put to use as we continue our quest for petrels.

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