Saturday, 22 July 2017

A much belated Northumberland Part 4

After a difficult few weeks I have finally got around to getting up to date with the blog. First up is to finish off our trip to Northumberland last month.

After the day on the Farne Islands we changed tack and went inland, firstly to a small reserve not far from Seahouses, run by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust at West Fleetham, third is made up of five very small sites of which we visited three, Long Nanny Wood, Farm Pond and Quarry Meadow.

While Lang Nanny Wood was lovely and only a short walk, I think the only birds we saw were Woodpigeon and Blackbird, plenty of bird song but couldn't see a thing!

Farm Pond was great with two easily accessible hides and again only short walks, the views over the pond were limited at this time of year due to the foliage, but we did see a Kingfisher, briefly, plus Little Grebe and Tufted Duck.

Quarry Meadow again had a nice hide, overlooking what may have been a badgers set, but now totally obscured by nettles. Not much to report other than, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Buzzard, Swallows and Martins. I guess visiting here earlier in the year would prove a much better prospect.

From here we drove on to a National Trust property at Wallington in search of Red Squirrels. Since we last visited in 2009 they have built a nice woodland hide in which we spent a few hours, well it would have been rude not to! So did we see any Squirrels? I think that's a yes:

The hide also provided us with some great bird sightings,

Towards the end of the afternoon we wandered down to the river, saying that it would be lovely to see a Dipper, of course Wallington came up with the goods!
However the day wasn't over yet! We decided to head back with a longish detour via Cresswell Pond and Druridge Pools, the former for Barn Owl and the latter for Long-eared Owl as we had spoken to locals at both spots previously who had told us about them. We stayed from about 7.30 until gone 10! but there was no sign of the Long-eared Owl, but we had a few sightings of the Barn Owl and an obliging Stonechat,
 Barn Owl going in!
 and mission accomplished!

So as not to make a 5th post for Northumberland, I will briefly add a few pics from a walk down to the National Trust Reserve at Beadnell to see the Little Terns (and Arctic Terns)
These are the Little Tern 'nests' raised onto crates and pallets, so that action can be taken in the event of tidal surges and spring tides, one of which was due the week after, so fingers crossed all went well and the nests survived.
 Little Tern after having had a wash in the river.
In addition to the Little Terns there were many Arctic Terns nesting near the Rangers huts, plus plenty of wild flowers.

So that was Northumberland. We did make a stop on the way home, but I will cover that in a separate post.

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