Friday, 18 November 2011

North East Adventure

Checking out a Bittern from the Hide at Gosforth Park, outside Newcastle (Alan Tilmouth)
Alan Tilmouth & TUB
It has been a long and busy week with various ongoing projects taking up a lot of my time - hence the lack of blogging activity.

Last weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of being shown around parts of Northumberland and Tyneside in the company of keen birder and bloody good ornithologist Alan Tilmouth. I spent a misty morning being shown some great sites plus seeing some great birds such as a vagrant Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Scaup plus a Grey Phalarope, Eiders, Willow Tits and a Bittern. The latter species was seen briefly at perhaps the most fascinating site I visited, Gosforth Park Nature Reserve, on the outskirts of Newcastle. Unfortunately, this interesting urban reserve is in trouble as the surrounding area and its corridors are under extreme threat of development. There is an active campaign going on to try to save the area. Check out local campaigner, Alan Hewitt's blog and help save this special site

Finally, I ended up at the fabulous Washington WWT in the afternoon where I delivered a talk and signed a few books. My day was capped by the spectacle of several hundred Curlews flying in to roost just outside the hide that I was sitting in. They looked and sounded amazing in the evening gloom. I have never seen so many Curlews inland before in my life. Just as I thought that I had seen it all a Barn Owl flew right by the window of the hide to land by the side of the building. It had pounced on an unfortunate rodent and had its wings spread out across the grass. A magnificent sight. A brilliant end to a fantastic day!


Andrew said...

A wonderful post to read...
Many thanks for sharing.

LadyBizBiz said...

Did you hear the Bittern?

I had no idea what a Bittern was until I heard one close to my farm house a few years ago.

I ventured out to discover where the booming noise was coming from and discovered the Bittern crouched in the pond weeds, Flag Irises and reeds.

I considered myself very lucky indeed to have seen it and heard it in all it's glory, and all within 200 yds of my front door!

Looking forward to meeting you at the Social Buzz Awards on 1st December ... you'll know who I am just follow the noise of the Booming Bittern. ;oD