Last weekend Dave and I headed over to the north east coast to do a bit of birding (after a visit to the book fair at the SOC at Aberlady Bay). Saturday was a stunning day, if a little windy, with fantastic visibility so our first stop was North Berwick to gaze longingly at Bass Rock. The number of gannets on or flying around Bass Rock was simply breathtaking!
|How many species can you see?|
Out to sea, strings of gannets were flying low over the waves, heading towards Bass Rock, and in the surrounding fields, wheatear and meadow pipits were plentiful. Halfway to the lighthouse, we heard whimbrel calling from somewhere very close by and turned round to see two feeding right behind us. Their call is a wonderfully evocative sound and to see and hear them so close was brilliant.
When we reached the lighthouse, we realised that the reason there hadn't seemed to be massive numbers of seabirds on the cliffs was because we hadn't reached the main colony yet. The cliffs at the lighthouse end were teaming with birds, including hundreds of kittiwakes, some of which were very close to where we were stood watching them. Some of the kittiwakes were already on eggs whilst many were still nest building.
|Kittiwake carrying nest material|
As we drove away from St Abbs Head, we were treated to the sight of a roe deer buck walking casually across the road and jumping a pretty high fence with such grace and ease. It didn't seem at all bothered that we were there and even stopped to look at us for a few seconds before sauntering off across the field!
After staying the night with friends in Northumberland, we went out to Cresswell Pond and Druridge Bay on Sunday and then stopped for a look at Coquet Island (from the mainland). This area has a cracking coastline that is home to so many birds. To name but a few, we spent the morning looking at avocet on Cresswell Pond, red throated diver, common scoter, gannet and sandwich tern out at sea off Druridge Bay, turnstone and eider just offshore, oystercatacher, black tailed godwit, redshank, lapwing (amongst others) on the ponds at Druridge Bay and puffin and possibly roseate terns off Coquet Island. The area was buzzing with swifts, swallows and house martins and whitethroats were singing away in the scrub.
All in all, it was a cracking weekend. The weather, for once, stayed kind to us (other than the fierce wind which made it a little cold) and the birds were very obliging. Even Max enjoyed himself!