Snowy Sunday

by on Jan.04, 2010, under Birdwatching, Choppington Woods, Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Photography

Yesterday we took advantage of the bright sunny weather to visit Druridge Bay and check out a couple of sites in preparation for an otter/badger Safari on Tuesday.  We had been out on Saturday with the same intention, but the 35mph+ northeasterly winds, and treacherous road conditions led to an early return home…

As we drove past Cresswell, Sarah spotted a family of Whooper Swans in a roadside field.  As they seemed fairly settled, Sarah decided to capture an image of them in the snow.  Luckliy we did this there and then, as there was no sign of them when we passed by there an hour later.

Whooper Swans near Bell's Farm

Whooper Swans near Bell's Farm

Checking all of the unfrozen water that we could find in southeast Northumberland did eventually produce a brief sighting of an Otter.

Druridge Pools was remarkably photogenic; a handy dog-walker added to the photo opportunities and Teasels are really attractive covered in snow or frost.  There was a noticeable movement of Skylarks along the coast as well; 200+ as we walked from the Oddie Hide back to the car.

Druridge in the snow

Druridge in the snow

More attractive than when they're in flower?

More attractive than when they're in flower?

Once we were back at home, Sarah was watching the comings and goings at the feeding station when she called through to the living room “Brambling!”.  I ran to the window just in time to see it fly over our neighbour’s garden and out of sight.  I set the camera up ready and eventually it appeared at the end of our garden with a flock of Chaffinches.  Then it vanished again…and appeared in our neighbour’s garden.  Another disappearing act and, after what seemed like an eternity, it flew in from the churchyard on the opposite side of our house.  That wasn’t the end of the story though, as it hid in the thickest tangles of our apple tree for over an hour before offering up a reasonable shot.

A cracking winter garden visitor

A cracking winter garden visitor

Now I’m back at the desk in my office, collating survey data, preparing newsletters and catching up on e-mails…but I can still see the birds at our feeding station, and a rather optimistic Sparrowhawk displaying over Choppington Woods.  A New Year but some old friends; Birdwatching, Northumberland and a dSLR.

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