Sunday, 14 September 2014

Holy Island Trip

Since i had to give up driving for health reasons, i miss not being able to visit so many of the wonderful places in Northumberland.

Holy Island is a great jewel in Northumberlands crown, History, Nature blend here, so a last minute decision allowed me to join the local RSPB group for their day trip up to Lindisfarne and Budle Bay.

It looked promising on the way up, quite misty and light Easterly winds meant possibility's of migrant birds, however the forecast for the day said it would get out sunny and warm, and so it proved.

 About 30 of us arrived on the island in a slight mist, we decanted the bus, and went off in different directions to follow our own day agendas.

The usual birds were found around the mudflats and beaches, a few passing Whimbrel called, a melody against the mournful song of the Grey Seals on the sandbar.

The place was dripping with tourists, less so with waders as the tide was well out. However i stopped at the harbour to check for anything, took a few photos and did a bit sketching, nothing i would put up here but may form the basis of a drawing later.

After checking the pond in the fields, i joined the throng heading towards the castle, i could hear the bagpipes in the distance, should have been the Northumbrian pipes in my mind. By This time the sun was breaking through, very pleasant and good walking conditions.

Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

From here  i wandered across to the Gertrude Jeckyl garden, could i find a Red-flanked bluetail, not today it was in full bloom and full of people enjoying the flowers.

Stopped for lunch with another spell sketching, before moving on the the track next to the sea, not much moving today except the usual Gannets and Sandwich Terns
Came across these pepple piles and quite a few peeps adding to them.

On too the straight and crooked lonnens brought a nice sighting of hunting Sparrowhawk putting up Pippits, Skylarks, and Linnets. At the farm the usual exotic wildfowl  and hens wandered about. However the Nene Goose is a definite migrant and is now on my Northumberland bird list, didn't bother tyring to count the House Spuggies i would still be there.

As ever, the stone walls held Lichens and Ferns, delightful plants that cling on and thrive in the crevices.

Back to the village to check the gardens and priory grounds, in the hope of a flycatcher or two, more togging ensued.

Often mistaken for St Cuthbert, this is St Aiden.

Wandered back through the village admiring the well kept gardens, and back to the bus, for the short trip to Budle Bay. On arrival we all lined the wall gazing across the mudflats, everything was distant and scattered, a single Little Egret and Greenshank were found among the usual birds.

Back on board for the journey home, and passing the list around so everyone could add their sightings to the days total, Black Redstart and Marsh Harrier were two i missed.

A pleasant and relaxing day with good company and conversation, may try a few more of these day trips.


  1. Nice report and very good images Brian. Hope you can make Threave/Mersehead.

  2. Thanks Brian, was not aware anyone knew about my blog. Kind of you to comment. Do hope to get to Mersehead, i like visiting new reseves.