The delights of dusk

by on Jun.09, 2011, under Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Southeast Northumberland

There have been times, during the 3 and bit years of NEWT, when it’s almost seemed like working 9 to 5 (although with the difference that you never really know how any given day will turn out).  Gradually though we’re shifting to early starts or late finishes, and it’s really paying off for our clients.

I collected Mike and Sue from their accommodation at The Swan, ready for an Otter Safari around Druridge Bay and Southeast Northumberland.  Clients who were both teachers in the area of North Lincolnshire, where I spent my childhood, showed once again, just what a small world it is.  After a few hours birdwatching around some of our most reliable otter sites, and dodging the rain showers, the evening developed into a stunning sunset.  As a group of ducks scattered into an almost perfect semicircle I concentrated on the centre of that circle…and an Otter surfaced exactly where I was looking.  After just a minute or so, it vanished into a reedbed….and we waited.  Sure enough, a second example of synchronised scattering indicated where it had re-emerged from the reeds.  Then we were treated to 20 minutes of madness as the otter raced across the water, porpoising and breaching!  All of this was set against a backdrop of clouds of Swifts, hawking insects above the water, slowly morphing, as Swifts gradually departed and denizens of the night appeared, into a cloud of Noctule and Common Pipistrelle Bats.  Almost perfect…

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