Monday, 5 October 2015

Northumbrian Magazine Article and a Trip to the Coast

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
John Keats

4th Oct.  I have a three page article published in the Oct/Nov edition of the Northumbrian Magazine.  It focuses upon young naturalist and photographer Samuel Hood and importantly contains a number of his recent wildlife images.  I’m sure once word is out the magazines will fly off the shelves so don’t miss your chance to get a copy as you know you’ll regret it if you don’t get your copy!

Sam and I were down at the coast today and began our walk with a look in Brier Dene.  On arrival we watched a small skein of Pink-footed Geese fly south along the line of the coast.   I don’t really know why we haven’t given this area more attention in the past.  It was heaving with birds today, many no doubt attracted by the abundance of autumn berries, and we counted at least twenty-five species of bird along what was maybe a three/four hundred yard walk.  Species seen and heard included more Pink-footed Geese, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, overhead Skylark and Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Willow Warbler, thrushes, tits, gulls, corvids and finches.

After longer than expected in the dene we walked along to St Mary’s Island from where we watched six Harbour Porpoise which appeared to be feeding off Blyth and Grey Seals.  The sea was a mill pond but quite misty at this point in time.  The thin mist did clear to leave perfect light conditions as the day progressed.

On the way to the wetland a Peregrine Falcon was seen in flight and amongst the disturbed Wood Pigeons.  It wasn’t too long before we found a Yellow-browed Warbler which gave a brief, but clear sighting on the wetland.  I note it was one of many along the coast today.  This particular bird was in the same area as Goldcrest, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff.

Waders seen today included the flights of Golden Plover, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Knot, Sanderling, Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew.

Kestrel was seen as we walked towards Seaton Sluice and on arrival at the headland we found the air air over the sea much clearer.  A number of Red-throated Divers were seen as were a few Brent Geese (pb) in singles and pairs.  Another skein of seventy-three Pink-footed Geese flew south.  Gannet, Common Scoter, Eider and Guillemot were also seen.

Just before we made for home two Wheatears landed briefly on the headland before continuing their journey.  Speckled Wood Butterflies had been numerous today especially in Brier Dene.  It had been a great way to spend the last day of excellent weather before today’s rains began.

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