A quieter island visit

Before I tell you about our day I want to back step to yesterday and our time at the harbour after our boat trip finished. I am so taken with the beautiful Eider ducks that I thought I would look out for some more and of course I was not let down. Not only do they look lovely but if you have been fortunate enough to be fairly close to them you would have heard that they make a noise a bit like a dove, in other words they coo.

What I didn’t know was that when they make a louder almost booming coo this is how they do it, they inflate their throats. Pretty impressive I though and I do believe they were doing it to please the ladies. I am thinking of asking Ian to practice as I thought it rather fetching!

Another good nights sleep, another tasty breakfast and we were off again, this time to Lindisfarne or Holy Island. We had a smashing holiday there a few years ago so were keen to revisit it although we were pretty sure not to get any ticks today but that’s okay.

The weather was kind to us again although it was a tad changeable, so layers were going on and off regularly! So far we have been blessed with dry mostly sunny days, no complaints from us! I took a few pictures of familiar places on Lindisfarne, if you have been there you will no doubt recognise them and if not I hope you get the chance one day.

This pair of Swallows were preening bedside the path up to the castle.

Also on among the grass by the same path we found this little fella. It is the caterpillar of a moth we have only seen once, the garden tiger that can count on our moth list but I hope we see another one in adult form again! Also lots of these green veined white butterflies.

We had a really lovely walk around the island taking in many familar places. Unfamilar were the long row of stone creations on the shore which have appeared since our last visit. I have a feeling they may not last as long as Stonehenge! It was good to see this crowd of seals on a distant dans bank.

We had lunch in The Ship pub on Lindisfarne and very good it was too! Soon after that we left across the causeway and on our way back we visited Bamborough beach which up till today we had only seen in the distance. It is beautiful and seemed very close to Inner Farne where we had been yesterday.

We decided, as we are by now in full holiday mode, to get chips for tea and eat them looking over the sea. Now it should be said that when we decided that it was fairly warm and a still day but my goodness by the time it was chip time the wind has whipped up considerably! None the less we got our chips and walked until we found an available bench, I thought we were going to get back to Bamborough!

We may have been a little bit chilly but my goodness we had it easy compared to the gulls etc on the sea! We were surprised to see some spring flowers fighting the wind.

We walked back to the harbour watching the sea crashing over the sea wall. As we approached the Lifeboat station I was surprised to see it open as by now it was early evening. Then ahead I realised the lifeboat was being launched, it happen so quickly I couldn’t get to it in time to picture it. We did see them launch the small inflatable lifeboat, I am fairly certain it was a training drill but the way the waves are growing who knows when they will be really needed. I have amazing admiration for lifeboatmen, the thought of going through what they do fills me with dread!IMG_4003 lifeboat

Well tomorrow we cross the border as we head for Blairgowrie in Scotland, I am looking forward to it although I feel in no rush to leave Seahouse.

Yesterday’s dip is today’s tick!

We made an early start this morning and arrived at the WWT Washington at opening time. Unlike the other WWT sites we have visited this year it has an understated building which houses the visitors centre and café and it all sits in the landscape beautifully.IMG_3347

We were greeted by very friendly staff and were given the run down on the site and when asked I was delighted to hear that yes they have Willow tits on site, we were off! Like yesterday we were advised to wait were there were feeders, in a beautiful woodland position. The feeders and surrounding area had plenty of visitors, including those shown below.

The poor Robin looked as though she’d had a rough spring, at first I thought it was a young one not yet red but no she was just very worn!

After nearly an hour I was chuffed to see what we were waiting for a Willow tit, in fact two appeared. They didn’t stay long and we didn’t see them again, but we were happy enough, mission accomplished and he was bird number 216.

We spent most of the morning in the woodland area before heading off in search of lunch in the café. It was a simple lunch but delicious, we would certainly recommend it to others.

Off we went again to explore more of the site, passing quickly the captive birds which don’t really hold much interest for us although I did rather like these Flamingos!IMG_3346 flamingoes! Common terns were abundant and just the occasional wader including this Little ringed plover. There were plenty of duckling and goslings around the site.

 

These Avocet chicks were rather delightful! I have noticed in Norfolk that Heron numbers seem to be getting lower, maybe they have moved up north!

Time to carry on with our journey and head for Northumberland and a few days in Seahouses. We found our B & B and happily found it to be lovely and well position just a few minutes walk to the harbour. After getting a few things unpacked and a quick cuppa we went out for a walk to find the harbour. We were very pleased to find Eiders in beautiful plumage swimming not too far away.

Today has been a lovely day and Tomorrow we we hope to get a boat out to the Frane islands and see what we find there! Eiders brought our bird count to 217