Winter Wildlife Trip

I had a few people asking about our Winter Wildlife Trips so I decided put a trip on for Saturday 22nd November and I was really pleased with the response and I was looking forward to it.

With the weather changing its mind every two minutes I decided I would take a chance and go for it and I was really pleased I did as it ended up being a cracking day.

On our way out the seas were really big at times and there was a heavy swell in the water but I had to give it a go as some people had come a long way for this trip and I did not want to disappoint them.

Once we arrived at the Farnes I had a little plan in my head of which way I wanted to go and what I was hoping to see, but I did not except to stumble across a cracking Grey Phalarope tight into the corner of Knocks Reef.

My main reason for being there was that I wanted to see if there were any seals pups on the beach at the Wide Opens and hopefully some ducks would be around too, but to see this cracking little bird was a total bonus.

As we got closer I had to be really careful as the swell at times really big and I did not want to be picked up dropped onto the bottom in the shallow waters. Its a great bird but not worth destroying my boat for. Anyway after manoeuvring the boat so everyone got a good view I moved away. I did manage to get a couple of pictures myself but they were rubbish as I had the wrong settings on my camera and I was not in the right place to start to change them.

We headed across to Staple Island were we saw a new born seal pup on the jetty and it gave us a real dirty look as if to say leave me along.

While we were watching the seal its mother decided to come and say hello to, but it was more like stay away from my child.

We moved further along looking as we were going when we spotted my Lapwing on it own which was a little surprising to see.

We decided to keep on going to see some more seal pups and after a while we turned and headed towards Holy Island.

The seas had calmed down a bit and we were surfing them so it did not seem that bad.

We passed a few Little Auks in the distance. We also saw a few Razorbills, Guillemots and Puffins on route and then again another Grey Phalarope flew straight past the boat. Two in one day. Get in.

Once we arrived at Holy Island it was flat calm and it was a good time to give everyone a cuppa.

We were really surprised that it was very quite but we all had our fingers crossed that we would stumble across something good.

We went really close to the rocks and sand banks at Holy Island and we saw loads of Oystercatchers and some Godwits.

After our cuppa and spending a bit of time near Holy Island we went along Ross Sands.

I just took my time just in case something mega would fly past and say hello but it was not until we got level with the entrance to Budle Bay that we saw a few Common Scoters and some cracking Long-tailed Ducks.

The light was perfect and so were the seas and I had a feeling things were going to get good.

We tried to get good views of the birds but they were not playing so then I decided to go slowly then switch off the engines and just drift into the birds with no noise at all. It worked perfectly.

It was so calm and peaceful then all of a sudden I heard the Long-tails calling. This is the first time I have heard them call and boy it was a great call it is. I could have sat there listening to them all day, but they were really close now so it was time to get some pictures.

After some great views of these beautiful birds we went down towards Stag Rock were we saw a Red-throated Divers but it was not playing ball at all.

Then all of a sudden I heard Andy (my crewman) shouting Grebe.

Everyone was on the wrong side of the boat and if it was not for Andy we might have missed it.

It was a Red-necked Grebe just sitting there right beside the boat and it put on a really good show.

It was not bothered about us at all and it seemed to enjoyed the fact that we were getting very good views in the beautiful winter sun.

This was the height light of the trip for me and I was smiling from ear to ear.

I would like to thank everyone who joined me on this trip and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I will also be doing another one at the end of January if anyone is interested in joining me then give me a shout.  I have not decided on a date just yet but either watch here or my Facebook Page or Twitter Feed.


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