Monday, 16 July 2012

Beacon

Saturday I spilled out after work to have a quick wander to Beacon Point. Not wishing to do the full distance due to the war wound I parked on the Moor Estate not far from the typically idiosyncratic Newbiggin Jubilee decorations involving a yellow hover mower wedged in a hedge.

Hopeful of some Roseate Terns I was to be disappointed, 20-30 Common & Arctic Terns slouching on the rocks but no Roseates. There was a little wader activity with up to 4 Whimbrels, 22 Sanderlings, 50-60 Golden Plovers back and a handful of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers.

Tonight I noticed someone else had had the same idea and had been more successful with a single Roseate Tern, so after tea I took the dog for a constitutional and headed back. Tern numbers had increased dramatically tonight with perhaps 100+ present. Luckily despite the early morning report the single adult Roseate Tern was still hanging around rocks just south of the outfall pipe. Five Mediterranean Gulls were also grouped around some of the rock pools with lots of Black-headed and Herring Gulls.

A mill-pond sea produced another intermediate Arctic Skua in the bay harrying terns whilst further out a couple of White-beaked Dolphins were feeding and showing well about 1km offshore. At one stage, milling around a huge gull feeding frenzy, the prominent, tall dorsal fin of what was probably a male was easily picked out with the naked eye. Through bins the white sides of the body visible above the water line it was so calm.

Sad news tonight that a great name from my teenage years has passed away after losing the fight against pancreatic cancer; few of my peers will not be familiar with Jon Lord, more than just a keyboard player and co-creator of so many great songs.


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