When the sun goes down

by on Oct.10, 2012, under Birdwatching, Northumberland, Southeast Northumberland

The dark nights seem to creep up on us very quickly, and it was already 3.30pm when I collected Ruth and David for a mini-safari on the Northumberland coast.  It was an entertaining afternoon with clients, who came to university in Newcastle at about the same time as myself and Sarah and decided to not leave the area after graduation – and who would?

The air around Druridge Bay was filled with noisy flocks of Pink-footed and Greylag Geese, one of the wildlife spectacles that everyone should enjoy at least once, and duck numbers are growing on all of the coastal pools, with several drakes starting to show their finery.

Often, there’s a lot of wildlife activity as daylight fades; Little Grebes were catching tiny fish as Teal and Mallard stared intently at a reedbed that we’ve watched an Otter emerge from several times in the last few months.  Moorhens came crashing out of the reeds in all directions but the cause of their alarm remained hidden.  Bats flitted close overhead and, as everything settled to a state that looked much more relaxed, and the light faded to the point where it’s a struggle to be certain that you’re seeing genuine movement, rather than that your eyes are playing tricks on you, we headed back to Newbiggin, pausing to admire a beautiful Barn Owl, perched at the roadside.

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