New bird watching guide for the coast

A new bird watching guide for the Northumberland coast was officially unveiled at an event last night (Wednesday 13th).

Published by the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership the new guide entitled ‘Birdwatching on the Northumberland Coast’ provides a wealth of information about where to go to watch birds on the coast throughout the year.

The 72 page guide breaks the coast, from Druridge Bay to the Scottish Border, into bite-sized pieces. Each section includes a map and describes the habitats of the area; it goes on to suggest a strategy for making the most of a visit in any season.

There is also a photographic-guide to help visitors identify the birds they might see on a trip to the Farne Islands and a complete the checklist of bird seen on the coast.

The new book replaces a much smaller bird watching guide first published by the AONB Partnership in 2002. Tom Cadwallender wrote that first book and was asked by the Partnership to write the new guide.

Tom said “Although the Northumberland coast itself has changed little since I wrote the first guide book, the range of species and the likelihood of seeing some species has changed over the years. For instance, the Little Egret is now commonly seen in many areas during the summer months, in 2002 it was an incredibly noteworthy species. Conversely, the Corn Bunting, once a common breeding species on the coast has disappeared altogether.

“I hope both visiting and local birdwatchers get as much enjoyment from this guide as I have had writing it”

Cllr John Woodman, Chair of the AONB Partnership welcomed the production of the new guide “The Northumberland coast is rightly famous for its breeding seabird colonies on the Farne Islands and on the RSPB reserve at Coquet Island. This new guide book gives birdwatchers the information that they need to explore the whole coast throughout the seasons. Some of the best times to visit the coast to watch birds are outside of the main holiday period and visiting birdwatchers help to make tourism a year-round industry.”

The new guide book was launched at the Bailiffgate Museum on Wednesday evening as part of their WILD exhibition and will soon be available from Tourist Information Centres, local bookshops and from the AONB Partnership’s website