Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A Northumbrian Odyssey - Part 1

Well that's another week away under our belts, I suppose I'd better stay at work a while now otherwise I will run out of holiday!

After having missed a year we were itching to get back to the North East and get out to the Farne Islands. We had deliberately booked 2-3 weeks later than we normally go so that we would have a chance of seeing chicks as well as the adults this time around. Sadly due to the cold weather everything is running 2-3 weeks late, so very few chicks about, we did see a couple of Guillemot chicks and loads of Eider chicks, but that was it! Oh well always next year....

So what did we get up to this time? Well apart from a day trip out to the islands on the Monday and a drive out to Cragside (National Trust) we mainly did coastal walks, plus one 'hides' day.

So we started off quite gently:
Seahouses Harbour:
After arriving and unpacking we took the long walk (100yds!) down to Seahouses Harbour, just to check out the boat times (and cost) for the Farne Islands trip, one down we strolled around, The harbour was full of Eider with 'Eiderlings' so that was very nice start to out holiday, looking over the sea wall there were also plenty of Gulls (Herring and Black Headed), some Oystercatcher and a Grey Heron. After a long drive that was enough, so back to the shack for a Beer and Pizza!

Coastal Walk from Craster to Dunstanbrugh (and beyond) and back.
A shortish walk to get our legs going, from Craster to the castle and a bit of an explore around.
As we left Craster our first sighting was a Kestrel hunting in front of the cottage by the harbour another good start! On the walk to the castle there wasn't too much about, mainly Jackdaw, House Martins and Swallows. We did see our first Fulmars of the week patrolling the shoreline though, some Oystercatchers among the rocks and Eider just off shore.
On arriving at the castle we looked over the small cliff to see Kittiwake and Fulmar nesting, we found a great place to sit and watch them around the other side of the castle:
One of my favourites!

Kittiwake on the wing

Get out the way......

You shouting at me!
Also around Dunstanburgh Castle:
Oystercatcher Fly By

Swallow on the Castle

Linnet on a stick!

Eider better go for a swim...

Rock Pipit Lunch

and Starlings ahoy!
A nice walk back to Craster added some Skylark and Rabbit. Once we were in the car though we had our highlight of the week! We had just left Craster and were headed for Seahouses, we hadn't gone more than half a mile when in a field:

We watched this Badger for a while before it disappeared behind a line of Gorse, brilliant!! Never seen a Badger in daylight before, we couldn't believe our luck. What an end to our first day.

More Part 1 Photos

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