Friday, 20 July 2012

Friday on the Flats

Lindisfarne in the early morning can be such a serene and peaceful place, most of the tourist traffic seems to start around 09:30 and for the first couple of hours on a weekday outside of school holidays you can almost have the place to yourself. This morning was no exception.

With a loose plan to focus on passage waders, initially from the causeway on a falling tide, I was greeted by a typically stunning vista as I squelched around the seaweed on the causeway pull-in.

It's still early in return passage, so waders were scarce on the ground with Curlews and Oystercatchers in the main. Around 50 Bar-tailed Godwits some still in spanking summer plumage were visible but apart from a single winter-plumaged Knot little else.
On the island side of the causeway I was met by a hunting Short-eared Owl and at Chare Ends perhaps the biggest flock of House Sparrows I've seen in many a year with well over 100 present around the car park and adjacent fields.
Four Dunlin were in the harbour. I spent a while looking through the 2-300 strong flock of moulting Common Eiders over on Guile Point for something more unusual; 14 Goosanders drifted past and lots of Little Terns fished out over the water. 

 Early morning Shortie

I headed further north and spent some time on the south side of the Tweed Estuary at Spittal mainly looking at gulls; my first fledged juvenile Herring Gulls of the year here and a good size flock of Kittiwakes roosting on the sands.
Further south I stopped at Budle Bay and Monk's House Pool though both were quiet. Stringer's Scrapes whilst looking splendid produced no waders, three juvenile Yellow Wagtails the only notable sighting. In fact I had to wait until I reached the Coquet before I found any 'passage waders' with 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a summer-plumaged Knot amongst some 120 Common Redshanks on the rising tide.

So little of note but some good exercise for the dog/leg.


dAwN said...

Beautiful area! Super photos!

alan tilmouth said...

It is incredibly beautiful Dawn and I always feel privileged to live close enough to get there often.