Thursday, 21 February 2013

Teesmouth Bird Club Trip to North Northumberland

On 3rd February 2012, twenty-three members visited Lindisfarne and the surrounding area. As we approached the Holy Island causeway we met Graham and Rosemary Bell who guided us for the day.

We parked in the coach park and as members got off the coach a Barn Owl flew past hunting around the edge of the village. First stop for the group was the Rocket Field which had plenty of ducks and waders feeding within the flooded vegetation. Prior to our visit a Cattle Egret had been seen regularly in a field along the Crooked Lonnen, however despite a good search the bird was not seen. Whilst searching for the Cattle Egret members were rewarded with sightings of Barn and Short-eared Owl. As we walked around the island heading for the Heugh a few flocks of Brent Geese were seen and heard. In the harbour, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Bar-tailed Godwit were feeding on the exposed mud. Offshore members saw Red-throated Diver, Shag, Eider, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Guillemot, Kittiwake and Long-tailed Duck. At a very windy Heugh members, watched Red-breasted Mergansers and also the resident Grey Seals could be seen resting on the mudflats.

We left Lindisfarne at lunchtime and got a very close view of a Long-tailed Duck feeding close by the crossing. Next stop for the coach was Harper’s Heugh for partial views of approximately 200 Barnacle Geese through a row of trees. During our stop at Budle Bay, the horizon was filled with hundreds of geese, both Pink-footed and Greylag. The mudflats were covered with Wigeon and Shelduck and Knot, but as the wind increased we could not find the wintering Greenshank.

We moved on to Stag Rocks, near Bamburgh and we were rewarded with close views of Harbour Porpoise and drake Long-tailed Ducks. On the rocks Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone were seen feeding.

The last stop of the trip a roadside pool near Seahouses where the group saw Common Snipe, Goldeneye and Linnet one of the few passerines seen during the windy conditions.

My total species count for the day was 50.

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