Watching; Bespoke Safari 25/04/2014

by on May.28, 2014, under Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast

The first part of the Bank Holiday weekend was a washout, with our scheduled Dark Skies event, for a Hen Party in Kielder, falling victim to the weather 🙁 Sunday was a bespoke wildlife Safari for Claire and Sophie and, as I collected them from home in Gosforth, things were looking a bit more promising.  Away inland we could see a lot of general murkiness, so we headed for the Northumberland coast – planning to drop down to Druridge Bay as the afternoon progressed.

Glorious, yet chillingly breezy weather was waiting for us at Bamburgh and we watched Eider and Common Scoter as they bobbed about in the swell.  We checked the wake of very passing boat for any sign of Bottlenose Dolphinsand continued south down the coast.  Willow Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Reed Buntings andWhitethroats were singing all around and Little Grebes were diving for prey before bobbing back to the water’s surface.  Our picnic stop featured Fulmars arcing just above the clifftops a few metres away from us and a viewpoint over the River Wansbeck revealed lots and lots of ducklings; Gadwall, Mallard, Shelduck all had broods of between eight and eleven – although this prime source of Otter food didn’t seem to have attracted the attention of any Otters.  A Roe Deer on the far bank appeared than quickly vanished again as it made it’s way through the bushes, and Swifts, Swallows, House Martins andSand Martins feasted on the buzzing clouds of insects overhead.  As daylight faded we arrived at one site to find a Mallard and a Grey Heron both staring intently into a hole that we’ve long suspected of being an Otter holt.  More Mallards, and the three of us, joined the staring contest but the adversary that eventually flushed the heron, and had the Mallards waddling away at a rate of knots, remained unseen as bats began flitting past our ears.

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