Wednesday, 22 May 2013


21st May.  Sam and I began our late afternoon walk at Whitley Bay Crematorium.  There was little about of real interest, but I did take the chance to take some images of  Plantain whilst Sam continued to study the war graves, of which there is quite a number in this cemetery.  My wild flower guide describes Plantain as ‘rather dull perennials’, and I can only assume that the write of that statement has not taken time to look closely at them, as I find them far from dull when seen in close up at this time of year.  We chatted to a couple who initially thought we were twitching.  Goldfinches, Blackbirds and Wood Pigeons provided a chorus around us.  We ended up meeting the pair again on St Mary’s Island and had chat about a proposed trip to Finland that the guy is going on in a couple of weeks time.  He said he was interested in sounds as well as birds so it was a pity we didn’t have longer to chat.  Sam and I had just been discussing that very area and I have to say we were a bit envious as this is somewhere we have in mind to visit.

Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata
We walked along the south bay before crossing to the island and found one female Wheatear in amongst numbers of Pied Wagtail, House Sparrows and a single Rock Pipit.  Swallows flew low around us and occasionally rested on the rocks.  The Wheatear was very flighty but didn’t leave the general area.

Pied Wagtail
There are few waders about now, but despite it been a fine evening there were few folk either.  We passed a young guy with a metal detector who seemed to have some luck and a young lad on a unicycle who seemed to be enjoying himself along the cliff pathway.  We’d heard the Fox was showing well at the wetland, but we were too late to find it, but we did have good sightings of singing Common Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers.  There were also several Reed Buntings showing and a Skylark song accompanied our walk to Seaton Sluice. A small number of Sand Martins had also flown over the wetland.  Numbers of Eider Duck were resting on the rocks as well as being on the sea.

Seaton Sluice did provide us with a Fox sighting, but perhaps not of the type we would have expected.  After a check of the area during which I was to late with the camera to capture the Kestrel, we went for our fish and chips.  An interesting conversation took place involving various personalities including Jarvis Cocker of Pulp fame.  I decided that our rather elegant Fox suited the name of Jarvis and I’m sure that will stick now.

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