Tag: Stoat

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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