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Saturday, 7 August 2010

Beadnell to Holy Island 31-7/3-8-10

Last weekend+ Mon,Tues, we stayed at Bednell, on Saturday I went straight down to the Long Nanny to see what terns where left the site was cleared of ropes etc: and the wardens hut closed up ,its a long hike no matter which way you go and I tend to leg it as fast as possible instead of strolling ,I took all my gear just in case and it gets heavy by days end .Tern eggs that had been predated or in some case just punctured leaving most of the contents still inside littered the sand along with a couple of dead chicks & and an Adult Arctic. About a dozen Little Terns still on the beach and several young ,also Arctic, Common and a few Sandwich, digiscoped some shots not wanting to disturb them by getting too close, a pleasant afternoon just watching them being fed I don't seem to see juveniles down the coast . Walked back via the beach and it was lifting with people ,most near Beadnell and the car park .

Beadnell Point
Arctic Tern
Little Terns Long Nanny

Juvenile Little Terns Long Nanny

Beadnell Harbour later that evening when the crowds had gone
Beadnell looking towards The Farnes in the distance.

Sunday a run to Budle Bay not a great deal around other than Redshanks and Gulls, but there was 13 Goosanders all juveniles feeding in a group ,heads down as they swam along then dive on prey. Single Whimbrel constantly being chased off by Curlew.
Next stop Stag Rocks again it was overcast light was poor on the sea ,masses of Cormorants & Shags ,Eider but little else . Monks House Pool is looking Ok but stopping on the way and way back still only produced mostly Gulls with a few Common & Sandwich sitting on the fence posts.

Monday a run to Holy Island again stopping at both the pool and Budle , no sign of Goosanders but a Female Merganser with 3 half grown young now feeding along the Burn.
Nothing as we crossed the causeway , and several men standing on the dunes with high viz jackets on, something was up they stopped a couple from going towards The Snook and it turned out three Bombs had been found two being 500lb and still live so the area was mostly out of bounds ,so on to the village ,it was like the Toon on match day people everywhere, too many for me so I headed down towards the Heugh again people all over , at least a hundred Seals pulled up on the sand banks in the distance in three or four groups heat haze was unbelievable.
So a scan around the village and into a couple of shops and it was time to go for me heading back to the Snook a Coastguard still blocking off the road , so we had coffee etc, there was a muffled bang followed a few minutes later by a much larger explosion and then an even larger bang the loudest Ive heard and felt , 15 mins later the way was clear and I headed off towards the dunes .
It seemed much different from what I remember from the past grass very tall, seems no presence of Rabbits at all and it shows , very Little Vipers Bugloss around and the few Dark Green Fratiillary on the wing where feeding on Ragwort, which I presume is fairly recent as there was only isolated clumps.
The spread of PIRRI PIRRI seems relentless, I presume that has caused the demise of the Rabbits , and I used to find lots of Fox droppings on small hummocks to mark their territory, all containing Rabbit bones

All of these near the roadside dunes had died back , but in the open areas hundreds still in flower Dune Helleborine ?
I had not notice the Ants till I got down to take the shot.

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