Monday, 21 February 2011

Desperate to see a Yeti.

Not i, but my biding companion Bigfoot of Blyth is.
Failing miserably we decided to concentrate on the birds. Starting off on Holy Island, first major sighting was of over 200 Brent Geese feeding on the ground. Nice to see the Pale Bellied race having had encounters with the Dark Bellied last week. Firstly can i say a big up to any seawatchers yeaterday. It was absolutely perishing with a strong icy wind coming in off the sea. We spent 10 minutes trying to look out over the bay in front of the castle but the scope was being jostled around and that, acccompanied with streamimg eyes made life very difficult and being the old soft tarts that we are, we retreated to the other side of the Heugh beside the vicars garden. It was only very cold on this side of the island and the scope was much more stable. Nothing too exciting to be had to be quite honest. The highlight being Eiders on the water. Also viewed were Oystercatchers, Redshank, Curlew, Cormorant and Knot. A wander through the properties on the way back to the car brought nothing more than a few Goldfinch, 4 flocks of House Sparrows at various locations, lots of Blackbirds, a few Robins and a couple of pairs of Collared Doves snuggled up.
Ross Back Sands was part of the original plan but due to the conditions we continued straight on to Budle Bay. Because we had only stayed on Holy Island for an hour and a half the tide was still relatively distant, along with the birds. Again, nothing startling but large numbers. Not going through the full list but Great Black-backed gulls much in evidence, vicious looking characters, quite superb. All the usual waders but no geese.
Stag Rock was given a brief visit with some more nice Eiders worth a mention.
Low Newton with its pool and scrapes was the next port of call on our way back down the coast. The scrapes were busy with 2 Bar-tailed Godwit looking smart in the still lousy light. Again an assortment of waders and ducks, nowt out of the ordinary. The pool held a nice number of Goldeye displaying leaving me wondering if this is where we get the expression "necking on". A relic of "THE GHOST OF STRINGER" can be seen and handled in the hide here.  There is a book of images of stonking birds captured in the area of which i recognise at least half a dozen from Newton Stringers blog from over the years. I did feel a chill run down my spine as i turned the pages..............maybe the hide is haunted.
We decided to call into Cresswell finally with hopes of Bitterns and Barn Owls. Not a sniff of either, the only sniffing at this stage was into a paper handkerchief (sorry) The main entertainment here was performed by the flock of 212 Lapwing which keep lifting from the sandbar but as is with the Peewit the next minutes were spent deciding whether or not to land. The flock would turn come in to land, some would, most would not, some that had would change their mind and lift again. The remainder of the flock would return again with the same result. After 7 or 8 goes, eventually all birds would have landed but twice as the last bird landed they all lifted immediately. In the hour we spent here this carried on like some sort of perpetual motion. Other species which were sitting on the sandbar watching this included over 100 Redshank, 224 Curlew and scores of Dunlin. Over the other side of the pond 7 Shelduck were doing their version of "necking".   They're all at it!.
Reeds and farm buildings checked without success we left Cresswell frozen to the core.
I haven't even looked at what images i did bother taking as i know they will be worse than the ones i normally include in my posts.
On the way home no Yetis were spotted either.
Skoda aren't getting them on the road very quickly, are they?


  1. John,

    was gonna post on Birdguides but thought your blog gets more attention so at 07.35 today I spotted a YETI in Railway Street, Newcastle. Definitely a lifer tick for me as I had to look it up in Collins (the Autocar version) to see what it looked like and as soon as I noticed it was the nominate race Skoda I realised its habitat was just next no my place of work.


  2. I'll pass that info. on to Bigfoot, he is the Yeti watcher. I just got roped into it !!
    Good spotting skills nevertheless.