5th June 2022 – Northumberland

Heading north for a holiday in Northumberland we made a brief stop (for nostalgic reasons) at Attenborough Nature Reserve in Long Eaton to break the journey and to grab a cup of tea. This was my first attempt at photos for quite some time and, for lack of practice (and probably senility), I really did mess things up. However, I managed to rescue a few shots to give a flavour of this lovely reserve in the centre of England. A pair of common terns were the main feature but close to the centre we also saw Egyptian geese, a great crested grebe and a reed bunting.

Further north (by now into Northumberland) we stopped at Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre and Reserve where we saw more terns (common and sandwich) and many other birds that I do not see locally in Bristol such as tree sparrows and bullfinches. We also saw a beautiful red squirrel on a feeder.

The BBC were filming “Spring Watch’” at Hauxley for the following week and it was lovely to meet the charming Megan McCubbin in the first hide we visited.

Our first sortie from Alnmouth (where we are staying for the week) was to Cresswell Pond, to the south, where we had heard reports of spoonbills.

On arrival we could see two spoonbills in the distance. The light was poor and I thought my chances of photographing them would be very limited but just when I was about to give up they flew across the water and landed nearby. Quite a treat. On the way back we stopped at Amble Harbour and saw mergansers, eider ducks and an indeterminate diver.

Quite a promising start to the week.

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