Saturday, 30 August 2014

Northumberland News

After our holiday in Suffolk at the start of the summer (see here and here), Jayne and I went up to Northumberland for a break last week. Although not a birding trip, we did visit a few regular spots, and also managed to add 3 birds to the "Year List".

The first new bird was an adult Caspian Gull (see here), which had been present in the harbour at Amble for a couple of weeks.

Caspian Gull

As you can see, this bird was colour-ringed, which showed that it had been ringed at a Caspian Gull colony in Poland. Nice and easy to identify!! Other birds seen around the harbour included Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed , Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls, Eider Ducks, Cormorants, Common Terns, Shags, Goosander, Mute Swan, Mallard, Redshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Knot , Shelduck and Starling.

On the Tuesday, we went to Bamburgh and Seahouses. Whilst there, we took a "sunset cruise" around the Farne Islands with Serenity Tours. Unfortunately, all the auks had left, but we did see lots of Kittiwakes and Shags, along with several Fulmars one Purple Sandpiper and a couple of Gannets. The Atlantic Grey Seals have also returned to the islands to breed, so we got some pretty good views of them too.

Grey Seals

The final new bird of the week was a Pectoral Sandpiper, that was found on a flash at North Charlton. It was feeding along with 10 Ruff, 2 Snipe, 1 Little Ringed Plover and several Moorhens. Here's a link to a much better photo than I got.

Year List update:
170 - Caspian Gull
171 - Gannet
172 - Pectoral Sandpiper

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