Thursday 24th October
With some days having a stark contrast from one another it was a pleasant surprise to get up on Thursday to a very nice day especially as it was a day out Kayaking and the calm pleasant day meant it was a trip out on the sea . A paddle out and around Coquet Island was the plan first we had to check the harbour entrance at Amble which apparently can be tricky at times but today it was very calm.
We launched at Amble Braid at a spot I have been to many times as you have great views over the area to watch the tide push the waders up the shore to larger and larger groups , from here we headed to the harbour exit and out to sea as soon as we got into the open the wind was apparent about 2/3 this being my first trip out away from the shoreline it took me by surprise as it tried to push me from the side . . The Island looks a long way off when you are virtually sitting on the sea but a steady pace found us at the North end where we cut through a gap in the rocks to a sheltered pool which had a couple of Grey Seals in ,heads bobbing about and I pointed out a Purple Sandpiper just feet away. You could hear the sound of more Seals on the East side of the Island and there sounded like a good number , but I was totally amazed at just how many there where, a huge group huddled on the rocks with there calls becoming more and more raucous some started to slip in the water and rather than spook them all we went further out and they soon settled . To follow was the most amazing sight I have ever seen ,to be honest I find Seals rather boring they lay around on the rocks or you see a head or two bobbing on the surface but now as we paddled along the East side there where what seemed like hundreds of Seals all around us there curiosity outweighing their fear and now it was my fear outweighing my curiosity as some would come up just ahead beside or behind you spy hop and then dive and seem to slap their tail on the water , one came so close I thought it was going to tip me,down it went slapping hard on the water I was drenched this is by far the most amazing event I have ever been involved in , we weren't just watching from the deck of a boat we where in amongst them and when you see the size of some of the Bulls lying around the rocks I did momentarily get a bit scared but soon it seemed we where out of the zone looking back heads where bobbing about all over the sea as we left them behind and back into the wind for the return leg.
Now this paddle to Coquet has been done probably thousands of times by others and there is even a race around and back to Amble , but I must confess I was just not expecting it to be so fantastic and for the rest of the day I was totally pumped up , Seals are not so boring after all as they certainly got my heart racing!!!!
Saturday, 26 October 2013
Thursday 24th October
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 11:41
Saturday, 19 October 2013
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 15:36
Thursday, 17 October 2013
I could not access the photos of the Red Backed Shrike that was along Blyth links the end of last month , I got the header done but not the photos for the post ,so here they are rather late but I took them so may as well use them.
Another run on the bike along what is becoming a monotonous route, through the churchyard along to the park and then along the links road checking the small pool ,although it's had nothing on for weeks now ,passing the Astley Pub I glanced sideways while cycling along a bird sitting near the top of a small bush House Sparrow I thought as there is always lots in these bushes but that's a long tail, so I stopped and looked through the bins , Red Backed Shrike not far from the busy and noisy roadside . I had tried for this bird a few times as did others but with no luck , thinking it had gone off along the hedgeline of the fields opposite , so I got a few photos till it flew North I put the word out and headed to St Mary's , but on the way back much later it was back in the same spot catching Bees so I got a few more shots captured Bee included . Nice bird and glad to catch up with it.
Not seen many Commas this year this one in Blyth park
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 22:33
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 17:13
Sunday, 13 October 2013
4 sausage rolls
7 Sandwiches (Cheese n Pickle or Tomato )
4 bags Crisps
5 Custard creams
7 flasks of hot water
What's all this to do with birding, well its the stuff I have consumed while sat on my backside birding to me the ultimate birding experience "Seawatching " not for many years have I had a few days seawatching like these four days of October with Friday being the highlight with a staggering 354 Great Skua heading North not counting the distant ones just to far out to confirm (which included a possible flock of up to 30 ) and no time to count the Gannets as they came past in ever larger strings with many of the Juveniles struggling at times with the strong winds and heavy sea with one individual tipped into the sea by a Bonxie but then ignored .The flocks of "Kitts" as they settled on the sea then lifted again and let the wind push them south so they could drift back again working the water surface they look so at home in the elements . There are always birds you miss and there always will be ,Sabine's was mine seen moments before arrival and despite checking every flock of Kittiwakes thereafter I could not pull it back , and those birds heading south with the wind up there backside and far out ,they become just pure guesswork. 2 full days and 2 half days of sheer magic , stiff with the cold and tired from getting up 4 days in a row very early , I wouldn't change a thing except next time I might take a bit more to eat !!!!!!
Posted by Northumbrian Birding at 17:02