Reader Hol­i­day

En­joy some of Bri­tain’s best seabird colonies in Northum­ber­land in June

Bird Watching (UK) - - Contents -

THE NORTHUM­BER­LAND COAST and its rocky off­shore islands are home to some of the largest and most closely ac­ces­si­ble seabird colonies in Bri­tain. Even a short visit at the height of the breed­ing sea­son can bring you ex­treme close-up views of charis­matic species such as Puf­fin, Com­mon Tern, Arc­tic Tern, Sand­wich Tern, Ra­zor­bill, Guille­mot, Kit­ti­wake, Shag and also, per­haps, Eider. With this ex­clu­sive hol­i­day, brought to you by Northern Ex­pe­ri­ence and Bird Watch­ing, you can see the above species on the beau­ti­ful and his­toric Farne Islands, where you are trans­ported right into the midst of a seabird ‘city’– it’s some­thing that ev­ery bird­watcher needs to see, hear and smell at least once in their life­time! The Eider here, in fact, were the first birds in Bri­tain ever to re­ceive any kind of of­fi­cial pro­tec­tion – Saint Cuth­bert for­bade any­one to harm them when he made his home here in the late 7th Cen­tury, lead­ing to their lo­cal nick­name of 'cuddy ducks'. Add to all that a boat trip round Co­quet Is­land, with its unique and thriv­ing colony of Roseate Terns, and you will have seen a large pro­por­tion of Bri­tain’s seabird species – an ab­so­lutely mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence in it­self, and a very big boost to your list if you’re plan­ning on join­ing in our #My200birdyear chal­lenge. And, of course, the Northum­ber­land coastal area also gets plenty of other birds for you to en­joy, in­clud­ing wood­land, farm­land and park and gar­den species, as well as a va­ri­ety of waders around the many small re­serves on Druridge Bay (in­clud­ing pos­si­ble rar­i­ties). Northern Ex­pe­ri­ence's Martin Kitch­ing will be your guide to the wildlife of this beau­ti­ful part of Bri­tain, of­fer­ing ex­pert ad­vice in the field, and dis­cussing the day's sight­ings in a re­laxed at­mos­phere at the com­fort­able Bam­burgh Cas­tle Inn in the evenings. There may also be the chance to en­joy some slide shows fea­tur­ing Northum­ber­land's best flora and fauna dur­ing some of the evenings.

SEABIRD CITY Guille­mots are among the Farnes' huge num­ber of res­i­dent birds

RARE BEAUTY The el­e­gant Roseate Tern

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