Bamburgh to Budle Bay and Back

30 Apr

Still in parenting mode, today we (myself, Alison and Hannah) headed up to Bamburgh for a walk along the coast and possibly a look for the black scoter off Stag Rock (I’d already seen it but Alison hadn’t).

Stag Rock (courtesy of Alison)

Beautiful sunshine abounded but a slightly chilly breeze off the sea and huge clouds of St Marks’ flies – a grand name for skin crawlingly ugly beasties – had me wondering if we’d made a good choice.

Lots of sandwich terns fishing just off the beach and a few eider riding the waves but no scoters, black or otherwise. Round North of the lighthouse and more eider plus sand martins and a single rock pipit.

Sandwich Tern

Grasshopper warblers could be heard up on the golf course but not seen from our vantage point on the beach. After climbing up the bank onto the golf course we had meadow pipit, and fulmars on the ledges of Kittling Hill. Following the path along the side of the golf course to Budle Point we had a teriffic view across Ross Back Sands across to Lindisfarne. Far below us on the point of the sands around a hundred terns were making a terrific racket diving in to shoals in the shallow water.

Turning left to the caravan park we had both common and lesser whitethroat in the bushes (lesser being a first for the year for me) and then a pair of stonechat on a fance as we cut back to the golf course.

Stopped at St Aidan’s church and had a quick look around inside, noting the sign on the door asking people to make sure the door was closed behind them to ensure the swallows didn’t get in. Sure enough when we came out a few minutes later there were two swallows perched in the entrance hall. Also paid a quick visit to the grave of Grace Darling in the graveyard.

Returned to the car and saw more fulmars nesting in the cliffs below the castle.

As the tide was fairly high we drove up to Stag Rocks and got the scope out to check for the black scoter but not only were there no transatlantic scoters but not even any of our resident ones, nor the long tailed ducks that were there on my last visit. Scope views of Inner Farne suggested plenty of birds in situ – possibly time for my first ever trip to the Islands next week.

Birds seen : Chaffinch, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Linnet, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Stonechat, Sand Martin, Swallow, Eider, Magpie, Fulmar, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Pied Wagtail

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