Wax(w)ing lyrical

by on Feb.19, 2010, under Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Southeast Northumberland

Yesterday was a Druridge Bay Safari and, after collecting Katrina, Craig and their boys from Church Point, I was astonished to see how much snow was on the ground as we drove towards Cresswell.  A Stoat played hide-and-seek with us…and proved to be masterful 🙂

The plummeting overnight temperatures had frozen nearly all of the pools along the bay.  Each one still had it’s own little area of open water though, and these held a lot of ducks.  Teal, Wigeon, Mallard, Tufted Duck and, almost indescribably handsome, a drake Pintail were all enjoyed by everyone.  A mixed herd of Whooper and Mute Swans provided an identification diversion and a few Pink-footed Geese flying over nearby fields alerted us to the presence of several thousand feeding below them.  After marvelling as the entire flock lifted into the air we were then transfixed by a Barn Owl hunting over the reedbeds at Cresswell.  A brief detour into Ashington for a spot of birdwatching, Northumberland housing estate style, where we had excellent views, and enjoyed the trilling calls, of 37 Waxwings, was followed by a walk along the Wansbeck.  With bone-chilling temperatures, not a breath of wind, and a river that was mirror-like the walk was sublime. We don’t get a lot of days like that, but they always feel special when we do.  Goldcrests called from the trees, Canada Geese were clamouring around Castle Island and almost the entire length of river that we walked along was dotted with Goldeneye, as the sun dropped below the horizon.

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2 Comments for this entry

  • The Nethercotts

    We had a super time and were amazed by the beauty of the animals.I think Martin was very informative and friendly. We also learned loads of new ways to try and get shy animals in to sight like making a kissing sound that mimics an animal that is hurt which gave us a chance to see a stoat come out. Lunch was gorgeous and very appetizing one of my best wildlife days out in a long time.
    I recommend this to any person interested in wildlife.

  • martin

    Hi all

    Glad you enjoyed yourselves, it was a pleasure to show you our little corner of Northumberland. Hard to believe that just 2 years ago I was spending my time answering ‘phone calls from incredulous reporters who were sure that it wasn’t possible to make southeast Northumberland into a nature tourism destination (or, indeed, any sort of tourism destination…).

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