Sunday, 27 January 2013


It was an early start this morning, picking up Phil at half seven and then heading north. Our destination, Holy Island, was almost an hour away. The journey up was quiet - a fox just north of Morpeth and a dare devil red-legged partridge were the highlights.

Parked up a Chare Ends, just as Stewart arrived - it's been a while since we last met. He was playing it cool, with time for a coffee before the walk up to the crooked lonnen. Phil and I headed straight off, with song thrush at the main car park making a belated addition to the year list.

Our target bird was jammed on the walk towards the assembled crowd - the cattle egret, a blocker for all but three of Northumberlands birding community, was in flight. Almost barn owl like in impression, the egret flew round the back if a cottage and onto a large area of flooded field where it fed for a short while. Possibly better than that was the long-eared owl that had also ventured out, landing on the fence in front for a few minutes!

The egret was distant to say the least, and when it took flight later it was only to go back into the confines of a secluded garden to feed on the lawn. Viewing was restricted to distant glimpses...

The journey back took in a few northern sites, but little was on offer - very blustery conditions meant sea watching was limited. And by golly it was cold!

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