Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Dinner in a Bun



A combination of cabin fever, after too many days of snow, and a burning desire to break the mould of our typical Christmas led us to take our Christmas dinner in picnic form today, on the seafront at Tynemouth. And mighty fine it was too; glorious sunshine for a post-picnic walk along to North Shields fish quay and back. Two of the beneficiaries of our alfresco Christmas dinner were this black-headed gull............




...and this feral pigeon - both fine specimens of nature's waste disposal units.



The walk to North Shields yielded this handsome curlew...and......



... numerous oystercatchers whose beaks almost glowed in the low-angle winter sunshine and which....



....hopped with great aplomb from rock to rock, plus........



.... this crow that had found its own Christmas dinner that it had to defend against some pretty fierce-looking...






...great black-backed gulls..... while, also in black-and-white, up at the fish quay we came across this....



... grubby-looking pied wagtail, looking for scraps, and a...



... drake eider swimming .........



amongst the trawlers that were in harbour for Christmas. Then, on the way back we passed .....




... turnstones, that seemed to have added de-icing grit to their diet, and ....



... this very smartly turned-out redshank, complete with leg ring. But, best of all, there were scores of these wonderful...





... golden plovers, whose feather edges literally glowed golden in the afternoon sunlight. In about three and a half months I'll be listening to their plaintive calls as they begin to arrive back on their breeding grounds on Chapel Fell in Weardale.

A Christmas day to remember.

Merry Christmas to all........

7 comments:

  1. Can't think of a better way to spend Christmas Day Phil. Unbelievable that after all that snow, such a bright sunny day.
    Slightly envious of your Golden Plover shots lol

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  2. That is quite a variety of sea and shore birds you spotted.

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  3. Great Idea Phil. Pity we can't rely upon such weather every year.

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  4. Pity I couldn't get closer to the golden plover Keith, but they were very wary.

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  5. The mouth of the Tyne is often a good spot for waders at low tide, John. There were a few more that I didn't manage to photograph

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  6. Too right, Adrian... we had planned to go further afield, up to the Northumbrian coast at Warkworth, but the minor roads along the coast are very treacherous after all the snow..

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  7. Aye...that reminds me of my best ever christmas dinner - a cheese sandwich on top of St Sunday Crag in the Lake District. Marvellous and not a soul to be seen anywhere, funnily enough. I've since failed to persuade the family that this is a good idea......

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