Northumberland experience

Northumberland has long been one of our favourite birding area,we have been known to say it is almost as good as Yorkshire in our off moments,so we were both very disappointed when due to my being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease we had to cancel our early Summer planned visit to Embleton. After talking to my GP about medication we rented a sizable house in Seahouses and asked the family along for half term holiday. It turned out a week of mixed activities as well as mixed weather.Spending whole days and nights with the full family was fairly new for Chris and myself as we normally have the grandsons at our place. The weather was so wild on the Sarurday that apart from a visit to the local Coop we just took the grandsons to watch,from a safe distance, the waves coming over the harbour walls a pretty exciting sight for adults as well as the youngsters.Sunday was calmer so we did beach walking in the Beadnal area and Chris and myself got our birding heads on looking for a few waders. With Monday spent on the fantastic Holy Island and Tuesday in Bamburgh castle for the lads to see the cannons and the selection of interesting weapons it was time for the family to head back to Yorkshire to organise their Halloween party.

Wednesday was very quiet in the almost empty house we could now get on with proper birding. Stag Rocks and Budle Bay provided plenty of interest with both waders and sea birds aplenty. Star bird here was Grey Plover in part breeding plumage,a bird we do not see very often in our bit of N.Yorks. On Thursday after a walk around Alnmouth and an enjoyable lunch we visited the quiet beach of Boulmer looking for one of our favourite waders,Sanderling. We halked the sands for a while watching birds at sea then spotted a group of wader feeding at a distance. We stood still and kept quiet and after several minutes the Dunlin and Sanderling moved towards us and kept feeding all the way up to where we stood and eventually wandered back to the waters edge totally ignoring us. It felt quite a privilege just to stand there with the birds just ignoring us,highlight of the week I think.Time to leave on Friday so, after packing the car we dropped into the Northumberland Wildlife Trusts reserve at Hauxley for a couple of hours before heading down the A1 to Yorkshire. 

A very interesting holiday which has inspired us to mix family and birding again,it was a good chance to show the youngsters some of the wildlife as well as spending play time with them,we even got some ukulele lessons in.I still found it hard going but the GP's advice on medication was a great help'got a special clinic tomorrow so may get some more advice on relief. 


Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • So good to hear you managed such a great family/birding break S in spite of your difficulties ... hope to hear news of better meds when we come back after this pesky upgrade business!

    Take great care & hope you get out & about a bit more during this mild November!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Glad you made the trip up to Northumberland Seaman and enjoyed the bonus of the family around during their half-term break. love to see the kids outdoors looking at wildlife instead of their phones!!  

    Your walk across the beach and wader encounter sounds magic, something you and your wife will remember during the winter months I suspect.

    Good luck with getting on top of your medication and hope the clinic comes up trumps with more advice.  

    Keep up the ukulele, it does raise spirits.

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    Glad you had a great time. Alnmouth is one of our favourite beaches and we always see Sanderling there, they seem totally unphazed by people and dogs. As the tide is coming in seems best as the large rocky area gets covered in water the birds come from the rock pools onto the beach. In all though it is such a fantastic unspoilt coastline.




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  • In reply to Bobs_Still_Retired:

    Glad you managed to have a Holiday and at Seahouses, its my favorite place already booked two weeks for next June, there are so many places to go to and it looks like you went to most so you did have a good one Pete, take care and look after yourself.


    My Pictures

  • In reply to James:

    Good to read about your break Pete & that you're managing to get out & about despite the Crohn's disease. As the others have said, keep us updated. It's not an area I know but it's interesting to read about it, I love sanderlings too, but we don't get them near us, only on seaside holidays.

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • In reply to Noisette:

    Thanks for your good wishes I have had one appointment with the new clinic,very impressed with the Doctor in charge,she is at least keeping the steroid dosage at a level that gives me a reasonable quality of life until she gets the test results and tries a replacement without too many side affects,usually the problem with most drugs, fingers crossed. At least I am getting out and about both with the grandsons and some birding. The boys are still talking about Northumberland mainly castles,cannons and weapons in in Bamburgh castle great stuff !!


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    Lets hope any replacement is better for you, a little reminder of the Northumberland coast taken in Seahouses.


    My Pictures

  • In reply to James:

    Love it James,we were really worried that we would not get at least one visit this year,many years since we missed at least one visit. It is near enough for us to go for a long weekend which may be early next year and the family are looking for dates and suitable houses for next year. I will just sit back and do as I'm told like many blokes do about holidays !!


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can