Saturday, 6 February 2010

Fog on the Tyne!

Mouth of the Tyne.

6th Feb. Well mist anyway, and by the time I was down at the mouth of the Tyne most of that was only out at sea. It was cold however and not even my fish and chips at Kristian’s could make me feel warm for long. Kristian, whoever he is, seems to have done well for himself following the rebuilding of the quayside. I remember when the fish and chip shop was exactly that and not the large restraunt it is now, and I remember North Shields when it was….well, North Shields! By the way I still rate the fish and chips at Seaton Sluice the best in the region.

I rarely hear of rarer gulls down at North Shields now that fishing boats are almost extinct, but I did sort of keep an eye open for them. All I found was Black Headed Gulls, one or two with full black heads, Herring Gulls and Greater Black Backed Gulls. At times they were in near riot as they were fed fish and chips and other assorted rubbish by passers by. The gulls seem to rate Kristian’s as highly as the folk in the restraunt. The occasional Blue Tit and a Pied Wagtail was seen around the area.

As I got close to the river I found a line up of around one hundred Cormorants. I remembered the time some years ago when I had been excited by the sight of many thousand Cormorants line up along the piers somewhere near Vancouver. I seem to remember the mixed flocks included Pelagic, Double-crested and Brandt’s Cormorants and they looked like a massive ancient army on the move. This stands up there with my other unforgettable birding moments. Getting back to today, there was quite a large number of Eider Duck on the Tyne and at the mouth and I think numbers may have been brought in with the mist. A year tick for me as it happens.

I found two Sanderling on the shore and a handful of Redshank and Oystercatchers. I thought these and the Carrion Crows were going to be it until I got closer to Tynemouth and saw a small flock of Dunlin fly down river. I eventually found that they were likely to have been the same birds whish were on the rocks in front of a flock of one hundred plus Golden Plover. I also managed to pick out a small number of Turnstone.

Despite the cold and rather dreary day I had enjoyed an atmospheric walk, with foghorns going and lights flashing at the end of the pier. I feel the pull of South Tyneside so I have thoughts of a ferry trip soon!

Following my comment about the fact that I must get myself a fungi i d book I'd like to thank the very kind person who has offerd to give me one. Very Generous! Now, I'm also thinking I need some decent camera gear!!! Best shut ya gob Killy, and don't push ya luck.


  1. "with foghorns going and lights flashing at the end of the pier." I was at Rainton Meadows today not on the Tyne. I must have been quite lound today then.

  2. Ha. Now I thought that you might pick up on that comment. ;-)