Sunday, 3 March 2019

Northumberland early spring weekend 1st - 3rd March

I love Northumberland. There is something about the coast there that draws me time and time again.

Thought the weather forecast was looking far from clement, I headed up on an early afternoon train straight from work on the Friday and arrived at my hotel as it was getting dark.

After a slap up dinner of lasagne and sticky toffee pudding, I turned in looking forward to a full day's birding.  The room was okay, with a 'view' of Inner Farne. The bathroom was enormous, though the loo being positioned directly under the eaves of the sky light meant it was impossible to do a stand up wee.  Maybe the room should be advertised as for women only?!

After a hearty full English, minus fried bread, I caught a bus to Bamburgh in hope of getting good views of Purple Sandpiper. However, they numbered precisely zero and Stag Rocks was virtually birdless save for the odd ever-present Eider.

I walked back along the beach, which was pleasant but uneventful, until I reached some rocks just north of St. Cuthbert's. Here was a party of around 15 Snow Buntings, and although flighty at first, eventually became quite confiding as I knelt on the beach.

Snow Bunting

I spent the weekend birding the area, focusing on the wealth of waders that frequent the beaches between St. Aidan's and Lowgos Bay. After missing Purple Sandpiper at Stag Rocks, it was nice to find three birds around lunch time on Sunday. Also, after missing a decent shot of Fulmar at Scarborough in January, it was nice to get a stunning image of a bird that was buzzing the cliffs adjacent to Seahouses golf course.



Purple Sandpiper


Grey Plover


Red-breasted Merganser

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