Tuesday, 1 September 2009

(No) Fog on the Tyne

A whistlestop bank holiday tour of the north-east took in various sites of beauty and interest including Stamford, Ripon, Richmond, the Dales and the Northumbrian coast, as well as Fowlmere, Fairbairn Ings, Rutland Water and St James' Park.
Mostly the holiday crowds were avoided but Northumberland was a bit hectic. Some targets were reached, but some (red squirrel, otter) were understandably elusive.
The Boulmer Birder, Stewart, acted as an informative and skilled guide, conjuring up spotted redshank, goosanders, whimbrel and arctic skua as well as pointing me in the direction of the various sites along the coast for roseate terns, wood sandpiper and curlew sandpiper.
He also emulated his countyman Ross Noble in pleasuring toads. Most impressive, however, was finding a sparrowhawk from the twittering of swallows, while he was driving the car.
Sympathising with my perennial failure to twitch hoopoes, he showed me the Northern subspecies, setting me up nicely for John's photo of southern twitcher.
Along the coast I found some sea rocket, which I hadn't previously seen, or tasted. Believe me, I wished that I hadn't tried it. Bitter?
There were great views of golden plover and terns at Newbiggen, but being without skilled assistance by then, I found distinguishing roseates from others rather difficult.

A heron and a couple of greenshanks provided some diversion while waiting for otters to stir at Druridge, in the rain.

Eiders obliged (attracted by chips) at Amble, where the populace filled the pub opposite my window for the evening, serenading me to sleep to the accompaniment of the karaoke machine.
I've followed Stewart's blog for a while now, and have been impressed by what he sees and the surroundings that he has chosen - now I'm just astonished that he ever turns up to work on time, with so many distractions.
A few other points of interest.........
Glowing heather at Brimham Rocks

A glowing brimstone at Fairburn Ings

A going osprey at Rutland Water


Warren Baker said...

We should start a tv progamme - blog swap. we could all swap locations!

Greenie said...

Steve ,
I think 'whistlestop' was an understatement for that trip .
Hadn't realised you had 'Geordie' running through .
But then , someone has to support the 'Magpies' .
Must admit the jury is out on 'pleasuring Toads' .

Stewart said...

Steve, Ta for the advert but I'm not sure who that fat bloke with the scope is? As for Toad Botherer, we have to find some entertainment up here, its rather remote... I hope you enjoyed the visit. Any time you fancy a return give me a shout....

Kingsdowner said...

Warren, that's a cracking idea. Any bloggers from Cornwall want to swap at the moment?
Greenie, I have to admit to being decended from Vikings. My more recent ancestors built stone walls in the dales.
Stewart, the invitation is reciprocated. Greenie is good at bothering most types of animal life, so you'll feel at home.

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Touche !

Mary said...

Looks like a great trip with many wonderful things to see. Thanks for sharing them with us! Love that rocks and heather shot. Wonderful birds.