Tag: Small White
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…
Sunday’s Northumberland coast safari started very close to home, with Germaine and Greg having stayed at The Swan on Saturday evening. We started with our usual riverside walk, looking at an artificial holt and talking about the ecology of the Otter. Our first really good sighting of the day was a Red Squirrel, which chattered angrily at a photographer who was sitting beneath the tree that it was descending. Woodland birdwatching can be sometimes be very quiet, but with a large mixed flock of tits and Goldcrests, as well as Treecreepers and a very aggressive Nuthatch around the same glade there was plenty to see. Out on to the coast south of Druridge Bay and, in the warm sunshine, our favourite Little Owl was posing for the camera. The sunshine was also encouraging insect activity and we quickly added to the day list; Common Darter, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Shaded Broad-bar, Lesser Marsh Grasshopper, Common Blue Butterfly, Green-veined and Small White were all found along one small stretch of footpath. Grey Herons were stalking along the pond edges and one got into a gruesome wrestling match with a large Eel. All of the ducks scattered, clearly there was something in the reeds that they were unhappy about, but what it was didn’t reveal itself. Further north, we came across three Little Egrets (surely the next addition to Northumberland’s breeding birds – if they haven’t already…), a Common Lizard that was sunning itself and, thanks to Germaine’s sharp eyes, a pair of Roe Deer. A really good day, with a real mixed bag of wildlife and clients who made it all the more enjoyable. And to think…Sunday used to be homework-marking day