Thursday, 28 February 2019

Update from England - Part 1 Northumberland

Two weeks in England did wonders for the year list, so much so that I plan to split it in two, hence the title. The ferry to Cairnryan passed at least 1600 eider in two large rafts in Belfast Lough as well as the usual gulls and auks and a red-throated diver. The route East passed through the Galloway kite trail and joy of joy we saw 4 red kites west of Castle Douglas along the main road. Blue sky, good light and stunning views. The dawn to dusk birdathon in Northumberland was as good as usual and racked up a respectable 69 species. Yes we missed out on birds we should have got but we also saw birds we do not normally see. The goodies on the trip included a long staying scaup at Cresswell and a redhead smew at Widdrington Lake. Add to this the first fulmars of the year at Snab Point, large numbers of pink-footed geese and a covey of grey partridges near Cresswell and we were off to a good start.  The day also added canada goose, water rail, grey plover, sanderling, stonechat and willow tit. There were also good views of purple sandpiper, tree sparrows, whooper swans, gadwall, pochard, sparrowhawk,kestrel and pintail. Bird of the day for me was the willow tit at the feeders from the Skua Hide in Hauxley. All photos courtesy of David Miller and his trusty camera.

Reed bunting
Sanderling

Dunlin, sanderling and purple sandpiper

Hauxley feeders

Tree sparrow and willow tit at Hauxley
Hauxley

...... and again
Amble harbour for eider

Too rough and choppy at sea, sensible birds were in the harbour!
We dipped on goosander but were in Morpeth the next day and bingo, with mallard at the park.

River Coquet

Birding made easy!!

Bird of the day
Lists will be updated after part two (or maybe even part three) such was the joy of birding in foreign parts where there was always the possibility of something we do not get here.

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