After the wonderful Holiday we had in North Yorkshire , it was back to doing walks closer to home . As you know from earlier posts we like to combine a nice walk with some Wildlife spotting , as the National Trust places we frequent have been getting increasingly busy we decided to try somewhere different . The Northumberland Wildlife Trust had recently reopened the Hauxley Reserve with a new Visitor Centre so we decided to take a drive up and have a look around .
There’s an old saying that you never really appreciate what’s on your doorstep and i have to say up until a few years ago we could say that about Northumberland ! We have (IMHO) the best coastline in the country , Stunning doesn’t describe it , so it was of no surprise that Hauxley is in a beautiful Setting .
Situated just south of Amble , this nature Reserve was part of the Radcliffe Open Cast Mine .
After a bite to eat in the VC (very reasonably priced i have to say ) we set off for a walk around the reserve and visits to the numerous hides to enjoy the wildlife .
(There are a load more photos available at my Flickr site HERE )
(Click on the photos to see fullsize)
A Redshank .
A Grey Heron in Flight.
Other birds spotted included Greylag Geese , Canada Geese , Little Grebes and various Gulls and ducks . Walking back to the VC we had a Stoat and a Vole run across our path , on the way out we had a chat to a couple of the Wardens and were informed there were Red squirrels around , including a famous ‘Swimming‘ one ! We had a great day at Hauxley and were so impressed by the facilities that when we got home we joined the Northumaberland Wildlife Trust on line !
After seeing how many reserves they have (62) we decided the next day to visit another one , so we headed off to another place i’d never been to , Cresswell .
This a a large Brackish Lagoon (Salt and Fresh Water mixed together) formed by Subsidence of former mine workings ( a Fairly common thing in South East Northumberland ! ) , Just North of the Beautiful Cresswell Village , this has one has one Hide next to the local farm .
On the way in we’d seen a Barn Owl flying about and spotted legal warning notices about it , little did we know what a display we were going to get on the way out !
Another great afternoon , on the way back we called in at another place i’d never been to (see what i mean by not appreciating….) for a coffee , Newbiggin by the Sea . The front is really beautiful now it has been renovated .
So after receiving our members pack and studying the Reserve map , this weekend we decided to try another Reserve on the Saturday……
A fairly new reserve (2003) that was a site of another former Open Cast Mine , still developing . Right next to the coast , the Reserve has a lot of surrounding Farmland with a few of our favourite Coos on it…….
There are a few hides around the 2 ponds to look at the various birds .
After a walk around the Reserve we made our way back to the car via the beach .
Not content with a glorious afternoon walk on the coast , we decided to have an Evening walk over to our ‘Local’ Reserve , the Big Waters .
The Big Waters
The Big Waters is the largest subsidence pond in the region, formed by the collapse of deep mine workings , it also has a Medieval ridge and furrow grassland next to it . The Reserve also has two Members Only Hides to the west of it (you have to purchase the key for it but it can also be used at Holywell Pond ) . These have to be the most plushest Hides i’ve ever been in , no wonder they are locked up ! We’ve been over to The Big Waters numerous times but these hides give you a fantastic view of the bird life .
It was a wonderful way to spen a beautiful Summers Evening !
On the Bank Holiday Sunday we decided to revisit Hauxley , on arrival we set off down to the beach…..
Again another superb beach with fantastic view over to Coquet Island and deserted ! There were plenty of wading birds down on the shoreline……
Ringed Plovers , Ruff and Redshank .
A Ruff and A Redshank
A Little Grebe and a Greylag Goose While at the last hide we spotted a struggle between a Cormorant and it’s lunch , David Attenborough would have had a field day with this ! After several attempts it finally got it down .
The full struggle is available in the Slippery Customer Flickr Album (50 Photos)
Over time we shall be visiting More NWT Reserves …….