Saturday, February 01, 2014

Is that...sunshine?

Yes, a bright sunny day! After 30 days of night this was a pleasant surprise despite the cold SE wind.

I decided to check out the northern end of the patch today taking in Hips Heugh and Craster.

Craster Harbour

On foot from home, it is about a 3 miles circular route over mixed farmland down to the coast. In a set bird food crop planted behind us was large flock of over 200 birds, inc 100+ Goldfinch, 50 Linnet, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, 20+ Yellowhammers and 3 Grey Partridges. A lone Skylark flushed nearby.


Grey Partridge
The wooded Arnold Reserve was bird free, but the harbour had a few waders -  6 Purple Sandpipers, 5 Turnstone, 20+ Oystercatcher, 2 Redshank and a single Rock Pipit was new for the list. Eiders, Gulls and Cormorants were offshore.

Purple Sandpiper

Walking back past the houses a Hebe hedge was in flower! February...

Then I noticed a sea angler just south of the village, fishing into the teeth of a gale from the rock edges. He appeared to be struggling to reel in and I assumed ( as is the case 99.99% of the time) that he was snagged or had a lot of kelp on the end.

What a surprise when he finally lifted up a Cod weighing 6lbs. It was a gravid female with a fat belly full of roe, so he unhooked and released it back into the sea. What a refreshing change from the tossers who kill every mackerel going in the summer. I hope this bloke catches more...

My first addition to the fish year list thanks to angler Mr Rob O'Hagan.


Johnnykinson said...

Well done that man.

Lou Mary said...

Lovely image of the charm of goldfinch!