Breathtaking menace

by on Sep.03, 2013, under Birdwatching, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast

One of the species that our clients are always keen to see is the Otter.  From my own perspective though, one of it’s smaller relatives is a much more attractive mustelid.

I collected Jackie, and Steve and Karen, from Church Point, and we set off on an exploration of Druridge Bay and the Northumberland coast.  As we sat scanning a coastal pool, watching for any sign of agitation among the assembled Mallards, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks, Little Grebes, Teal and Mute Swans, there was a rustling in the grass just in front of us and a Stoat popped it’s head out.  I started making quiet squeaking noises, and soon it peered out at us, then came out in the open and reared up on it’s hind legs – presumably fooled by my pishing into thinking that a small rodent was in trouble and in need of a Stoat to do it’s good deed for the day and end it’s misery 🙂 The Stoat is one of those species that are fairly common and widespread, but rarely seen.  When you do get one sitting out in full view though it really is a quite beautiful creature; lithe and muscular, inquisitive and deadly, it was a real treat to have this little predator right in front of us.

As the evening wore on, small groups of Starlings were gathering ready to roost, Snipe seemed to be everywhere that we went and the eternal game of cat and mouse, between predators and prey, that is the natural world was still all around us as the sun dropped below the horizon away to the west.

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