by on Jul.25, 2012, under Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast

With our focus in late-July on the North Sea and its enigmatic wildlife, a land-based trip makes a pleasant change from riding the waves.  I collected Catherine, Mark, Jacob and Izzy from their holiday accommodation in Howick and we set off down the Northumberland coast towards Druridge Bay.

We started at Newbiggin, following up a recent report of a small pod of White-beaked Dolphins. Only brief sightings of distant dorsal fins were possible, proving just what an elusive species this can be.  An adult Mediterranean Gull drifted close by with a few Black-headed Gulls, Jacob  concentrated on the flight identification of Common, Arctic and Sandwich Terns, and another short spell of seawatching just up the coast produced lots of Eiders, and a Gannet heading south.

Cresswell Pond produced Little Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Curlew and lots of Lapwings, and then a real star performer as a Barn Owl quartered the dunes.  As is often the case, we had a particular target species for the evening and, as Mallards scattered from one section of a pond, and a small group of Teal suddenly became very alert, we concentrated on scanning that area.  Sure enough, the swishy, waving tail of an Otter was soon spotted near the Teal, and for a few minutes it gave brief views of it’s tail, head and body as it spread panic throughout the assembled wildfowl.  As darkness descended it vanished into the inky gloom and we headed back to the car, encountering Common Frog, Common Toad and Pipistrelles on the way.

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