Saturday, August 27, 2011

Some updates....

Tuesday 23rd...

This evening a walk down to the Howick Burn Mouth was quite pleasant. A large gull flock held a single juvenile Mediterranean Gull, while 5 Whimbrel flew south overhead. Back up to the farm, and my first Merlin of autumn briefly chased a swallow before moving on south.

Thursday 25th...

A Porpoise was very close in at Cullernose this morning. I managed to get some Yorkshire tourists on to it as they walked by enquiring what I was watching. They were pleased, not having seen one before..

Friday 26th...

Most unusual sighting of the year came while I was working in deepest Ashington last night. Ashington is a largish town with quite dense housing at its east end. It is one of the most socially deprived areas in the north east . So imaging my surprise at 8pm when I glanced up from a housing estate car park to see a Spoonbill being chased by a Little Egret both flying NE overhead! Absolutely bizarre...

7 comments:

Dean said...

Regards the Spoonbill/Little Egret sighting. These things happen, Stewart. And they make the record that little bit special, as well as bizarre.

Stringer said...

Are you working long shifts at the moment Stewart ?!! ;)

Stewart said...

Dean - Although I have seen lots of both species, I was particularly pleased with them this time.

Gary - I occasionally work a late one. Not often mind you....

sally said...

Just found your blog after yet another visit (25 years if it!) to the Northumberland coast but first time staying at Howick. Very amateur birdwatcher - but loved it. Lots of terns and gannets - are they mostly common or sandwich terns here rather than arctic? So difficult to tell! Also a lone guillemot swimming then preening on the beach. And found a dead guillemot (something had been eating it) elsewhere. Is this becuase they can't fly at this time? ALso a dead puffin. Thanks for your lovely blog. V envious of you living there!

Stewart said...

Hi Sally, pity you didnt let me know before hand...We do well for terns in Northumbs. Arctics, Commons and Sandwich are all very common. Saying that, by mid August many Arctics and Commons have gone south. We also have an abundance of auks so it isnt unusual to find odd ones wandering the shore line or as casualties. Maybe the breeding season has exhausted a few or they may be this years juveniles.

I hope you enjoyed your stay and will return sometime...

Regards Stewart. PS Where did you stay?

sally said...

Hi Stewart - thanks for replying. Only found your blog once I got home! We stayed in a cottage at Seahouses Farm by Rumbling Kern. Great spot.

Saw a great number of terns diving and feeding on the evening of Sat 20th Aug just off shore between Howick Haven and Sugar Sands. They seemed to have black beaks, pointed their heads right down before they dived and were v noisy - grating sound. I think they were either Sandwich or Common terns - a lot of them!

Will definitely return.

Stewart said...

Yes Sally they will be Sandwich Terns. They are very noisy off shore and are the most obvious. If you return, try the Old School house in the village. It is a very nice place, with walks all around. Still only a couple of hundred yards from the coast path too. Visitors get a key for all round access the Howick Hall grounds too. There is a great walk right down the arboretum to the coast.