Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Bamburgh's Bunker Birders!

On our recent tour of duty in Bamburgh, Sam and I marched from Spindlestone to Bamburgh during which time we came across the Second World War gun emplacement on the coast near to Budle Bay.  Nearby we came across a Stonechat and from the window we spotted a Slavonian Grebe travelling north on the sea.  We two being business minded, astute, sage like and just a little bonkers, we began to have some very grand ideas for what we called Samuel and Brian’s Birding Bunker.  The view over Budle Bay and the North Sea is wonderful and could be put to great use.

A room with a view
We initially wondered why no one has come up with the idea of making this into a bird hide!  It certainly offers more comfort than many hides I have been into in Northumberland.  I even suggested to Sam that this could make a very good home and business premises.  Ok, a little minor work will be required, but nothing grand as we are simple people and don’t expect to live in luxury.  One thing is for sure we wouldn’t have to splash the cash on loft or cavity wall insulation as the stone work is several feet thick.  I even worked out where the bathroom could go.  Sam being the deep thinker that he is came up with some possible problems.  We would need to get rid of the strong smell of urine and other toxic substances that spoil the atmosphere ever so slightly.  I kind of poo poo’d this idea, if you will excuse the pun.  I thought this matter could be sorted quite easily.  I guess the other problem of essential services such as water and electric that Sam mentioned may prove a little more of an obstacle for us to overcome.

Sam gives the air conditioning system check.
Anyway, there are some positives, as the round holes through the walls, I understand initially made for the cordite, could act as superb air conditioning and storage for tripods and other birding and photography gear.  We even thought the stone shelves would make ready made bunks in our bunker.

We did think however that once such a good idea of ours gets made public, that others may try to get on the bandwagon and even thought bird clubs might try and interfere and take over.  Well, don’t worry as we thought this all through carefully and we have ways to protect our interest even if attacked from the sea!  We had a great deal of discussion about land and sea defences.  I even thought that we may need to mine the area.  This idea has been scuppered however, as Sam ever so wisely thought it might cause problems for the wonderful habitat that will surround our bunker and we agreed that we wouldn’t want to lose any paying customers.

We consider how best to defend our interests.

Sam looks on while I try out my gear in the event that close combat may be required.

This may give any possible advance from the sea by bird clubs or others something to think about.  As I said to Sam, 'they wont like it up 'em'.

Paying customers you ask?  Yes that’s right.  We are intending to offer Bamburgh Bunker Birding Tours to individuals, groups and societies.  Small discounts are to be available to anyone we personally like.  Get in quickly with your deposit and you could soon be birding from a bunker.  There are no toilet or washing facilities quite prepared yet, but we are talking hard core birders here so that I’m sure won’t cause too much of a problem.  We may have to delay our tours for the more refined RSPB Groups until a little later.  However we do have a wonderful programme for the RSPB Groups so please be patient and just look below at what we are offering in our selection of Bamburgh Birding Bunker Tours.

Copper Kettle Capers at the Tea Room (voted in top twenty tea rooms in the UK by the Tea guild) (especially aimed at RSPB Local Groups)

An early start will be made each day at 11.00am where the coach will escort us to the Copper Kettle Tea Room for breakfast before a saunter is taken to Stag Rock if weather permits.
Lunch will be taken at the Copper Kettle Tea Room. This will be followed by a walk to Bamburgh Castle where time will be allowed (2 hours) for shopping in the gift shop.  Tea can be taken in the café at the castle before the walk back to the Copper Kettle Tea Room for dinner.  Samuel and I will attempt to pack some bird watching in, between café stops.
Evenings will be spent in the bunker where sing song will be arranged and entertainment will be provided by Samuel and Brian.  Presentations of bird images will be given and Samuel will also entertain with his bird vocal skills.  Samuel does a mean Eider Duck!  The final evening will include a tea drinking competition and the winner will receive an imitation Copper Kettle and a three month supply of  the finest Earl Grey Tea.

Birds, Bunkers and Beer for Bloggers.

This is an especially adapted tour aimed at Birder Bloggers and Bird Club Members.
Initially this tour may run before we have a fresh water supply, but fear not, beer will be supplied by the bucket full.  Junior Bloggers will be offered shandy.  (we do have standards in our bunker).  Those of you who wish to bring a supply of water for washing may do so, but if you wish to have hot water please supply your own Copper Kettle!
Each day will begin at 5:00am when a hearty full breakfast will be served and pints of local beers served.  Birding will begin at dawn and end at dusk during which we will all wander up and down the coast with cameras, binoculars, telescopes, tripods, other miscellaneous personal equipment and in dirty camouflage gear.  Each day will end with a compulsory day listing of birds during which copious amounts of beer will be served.  Beer is also available in your bedside cabinets.  Packed lunches comprising of pies and beer will be provided daily. 
Please supply your own sleeping bag and deodorants.
The trip will end with a pelagic on the North Sea which will take place what ever the weather.  Beer will be served on the boat.  At the end of the trip a vote will be taken as to the finest birder on the trip.  The person with this fine title will be presented with a crate of beer.

Now come along and join Samuel and Brian in the Birding Bunker.

Having discussed this business venture at length and perhaps rather loudly whilst in the bunker, we set off to continue our walk.  On leaving the bunker we found two people sat outside.  They gave us such an odd look as if we were bonkers.  The cheek of it!


  1. Brilliant stuff, hehe!! With offers like that who could refuse, lol.

  2. Cheers. I have written to you to confirm your deposit.

    1. Lol, I look forward to it! You shall be inundated with bookings I'm sure.