New birdwatching guide is launched for county’s coast

Author of the new guide, Tom Cadwallender, with Coquet Island in the background.
Author of the new guide, Tom Cadwallender, with Coquet Island in the background.

A new birdwatching guide for the Northumberland coast was officially unveiled at an event last night.

Published by the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, the new book is entitled Birdwatching on the Northumberland Coast.

It 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 checklist of birds seen on the coast.

The new book replaces a much smaller birdwatching 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.”

The new book was launched at Alnwick’s Bailiffgate Museum, as part of its WILD exhibition, which is a celebration of the British Isles’ natural history.

It will soon be available from TICs, local bookshops and from the website north umberlandcoastaonb.org