Saturday, February 02, 2008


By, it was a bit parky down at Seaton Point this morning. Bright and dry though and the wind has dropped to a W4.

Around the point with Bunty I thought that more birds would have been affected by the cold inland, resulting in more activity here but little had changed since the last visit.

4 Rock Pipits were on the washed up weed, two beginning to look like 'littoralis' types, showing a greyer, cleaner plumage than the olivey 'petrosus' nearby. They were whiter below with a paler supercillium, features not shown by the other two.

In the small bay on the point a nice mix of waders fed, 10 Ringed Plover, the first double figure count for ages, 1 Grey Plover, 3 Bar tailed Godwits, 7 Dunlin and 2 Sanderling. 14 Linnets flew from the seaweed covered rocks and a Sparrowhawk flushed from the tideline.

I stopped in the village to see the ross's gull (!). Needless to say, there was no sign, but I did have 1 Snipe lift from the rocks, probably frozen out of its usual haunt and 14 Red breasted Mergansers were on the sea.

A lady out with her dog stopped me and asked if she needed to report the finding of a dead Otter to anyone. She then took me to see it, about a hundred or two yards north of the village. It was a three quarter grown cub and looked as if it had climbed up the cliff and died under a stunted hawthorn. There were no apparent causes of death. The photo was taken after I moved it into the open.

Such a pity, I haven't seen one here before. This is probably one of the ones seen by TF in the Howick bay in the autumn.

On my way to Alnwick 4 Buzzards disputed territory over the A1 at Denwick.


Blyth Birder said...

Been procured (by the wife) to domestic chores all day today in order to try and sell the house so not crossed the doors but was really surprised to see how much ice was lying in the borders this morning - must have been nippy overnight.

Nice images by the way - I love me wintery imagery me does.......

Blyth Birder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blyth Birder said...

Not the best way to 'get' your first otter on patch.

Wonder what did for it?

Is it a coincidence its been found after these recent gales? I guess it'd only take a large wave while fishing close in and it could have bashed its bonce of a rock and au revoir?

The Wessex Reiver said...

Looking at the photo, it's hard to tell, but it does look in good condition (although dead, I know what you're going to say :-). As previous comment the recent storms may have damaged it. It's equally likely it may have become detached from the family group and perished through difficult feeding conditions (cubs can not dive well). Also Eurasian otters living in the sea need fresh water to bathe in to maintain their sub coat, thus boyancy and tempurature regulation would have been subdued if it couldn't find any. Sad, but when I studied Northumberland Otters in the mid 1980's estimates were down to 1 male and 2 females across the whole county. Seeing them return is a joy.

ST said...

A sad sight indeed