Naturelog: Wednesday 21st May

Posted: May 26, 2014 in Birds, Butterflies and Moths, Natural History, Northumberland, UK
Tags: , ,


This mornings walk was also along the River Aln. I walked from the village to Duchess Bridge, which carries the road onto the Alnmouth penninsular and then followed the river downstream back to the village.

Duchess Bridge

Duchess Bridge

On the way to the river, a Hobby swooped low overhead. This area is the most northerly in the UK that this summer migrant falcon breeds and so this sighting was an unexpected delight as it was low enough to make out the features very clearly.

Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (

Arriving at the river, there was a party of 9 Grey Herons resting on the saltmarsh.



Also present were a pair of Mute swans and a single male Eider. I wondered if this was the samee bird I had seen yesterday but soon located a male and a female on the river so there must be a small population here.

Male Eider

Male Eider

Female Eider

Female Eider

On the far side of the river were a mixed group of Greylag and Canada Geese, along with a small party of Curlew and some Oystercatchers. A Whitethroat was singing in the riverside scrub, along with Chaffinches and Goldfinches.

In the afternoon the weather was so wonderful that I decided to go out for another walk. This time I went from the village past Alnmouth marsh to Alnmouth Common which runs north from the village alongside the beach.

Alnmouth Marsh

Alnmouth Marsh

Alnmouth Common

Alnmouth Common

Little Grebe, Tufted Duck and Blackcap were the highlights of the marsh. I saw a Long-tailed Tit return to the same bush and close inspection revealed a tail from a second bird. Was this a female sitting on a nest? The second bird certainly did not move all the time that I watched it. This also seemed a good area for Green-veined white butterflies, but none would settle long enough to be photographed.
Most of the common is now part of the Alnmouth Village Golf course and its not birds, but golf balls you have to look out for as you cross to the remnant of the common adjacent to the beach. It was quite breezy here and as a result there was little to see – I had hoped for some butterflies. I did get two quick glimpses of dark butterflies but far too quick for identification. A meadow Pipit put in a brief appearance and a pair of Sandwich Terns were fishing off shore.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Eider [sp] (Somateria mollissima)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

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