Monday, January 30, 2023

Over the Border...

 Yesterday for a change Jane, Peggy and myself took a trip northwards across the border to visit some of the small harbours that abound up there. 

The route took in Eyemouth, St Abbs and Cove before returning home via the A1. At the furthest point from home we were only 50 miles away, so I don't know why we don't visit more often, I mean even Newcastle is 40 miles south of us, so its not too far really.

The day was sunny, cool and breezy. At Eyemouth, we parked on the high car park south of the harbour and walked down some steep steps on to the south quayside. Although, not a birding trip, the bins were around my neck and I just wish I'd brought my camera too. Almost the very first bird seen as we were half way down the steps was a lovely, bright white adult Glaucous Gull hanging in the wind with about 20 Herring Gulls before it glided right over our heads and down into the harbour.

Near the bridge were a couple of fish boxes that attracted the gulls as well as a fast flowing stream where some were bathing and resting on the bank. The Glauc however was standing on the harbour wall as people walked past not 10 feet away. I took a few phone shots ( not through bins or anything, just the phone) as a record - 

Eyemouth Harbour, the steps we walked down are in the distance on that grass bank.

Adults Glaucous Gull, a beauty, the first adult I've seen for ages.

As we walked along the other side of the harbour to the entrance, a couple of families were gazing over into the water. Here two massive bull Grey Seals were splashing around and slapping each other. While these attracted the attention of the public, I glanced down at the wall below my feet to see a dog Otter right below me! He was fishing along the wall but soon vanished only to reappear 5 mins later across the other side. At one point he tried to attack a swimming Cormorant from below but the immature bird flapped away into flight leaving the Otter to go back to the fishing.

We managed to get a few people to see it, with one kid borrowing my bins, quite precariously as he teetered on the fenceless harbour edge. I know the lad was a worry but I could do without losing my glasses thanks very much! Still, I'd like to think this sighting might push him towards a deeper interest in wildlife as he gets older. You never know this could be a budding Chris Packham....

Another phone shot, apologies for the quality...

After buying some chips at Mackay's we headed back to the car for lunch and then off to St Abbs. 

Over the years I've seen a few good birds here, Marmora's, Sardinian and Barred Warblers, Bluetail and a King Eider but its a long time since my last visit. Although we didn't see any wildlife of note, the scenery was fabulous. We must come back...

St Abbs Harbour and Head.
By the time we had a look around, the weather began to change, becoming more overcast and the wind was strengthening.

The final stop was Cove where a woman with a pack of dogs she didnt look like she could control, meant we didn't bother walking down the track to the harbour, but we already had a pleasant visit so it was time to head for home...  

The view from Cove car park.

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