Snow buntings and Little Auks

12 Nov

Blyth beach

I had a bit of a change of scenery this morning and went for a walk along Blyth beach – as much as anything to see if I could work out how the various bits of beach and piers fit together. A lovely warm (for November) morning and plenty of people out and about – although I think I was the only one there without a dog! A few sanderling were dashing along the edge of the water but aside from that only gulls were to be seen. Walking along towards the pier I spotted the highlight of the morning – four snow buntings rooting around in the dunes beyond the first pier. Unfortunately I only had a 35mm lens with me so just a few distant record shots although they were confiding enough to let me within 10 feet or so.

Snow buntings

At the mouth of the harbour a red-throated diver joined the throng of cormorants, a couple of eider and a single guillemot.

Looking back to shore

I opted to drive further down the coast to Tynemouth bypassing St Mary’s Island for a change – walking along the North pier to the lighthouse for the first time it was amazingly warm. Suprisingly little around on the sea and just a couple of turnstones perched on the walls, however when I got out to the end of the pier I immediately spotted a red-throated diver only 10 yards or so out to see along with a couple of guillemots.

Red-throated diver

While I was trying to get a good view through the binos I was distracted by a small flash of black and white dashing out to sea – a little auk, closely followed a few moments later by a second. I managed to get a very quick shot of the second one just to satisfy myself that it was indeed a little auk as I’d never knowingly seen one before.

Little auk

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