I love sharing birds. You might think that a strange comment so I best explain. I greatly enjoy guiding people to see birds, I point out birds that they haven't noticed and I name birds they cannot identify. I encourage people to listen to bird songs and calls, helping them to appreciate the richness and diversity of avian sounds. I show them birds through my telescope and marvel with them at the beauty of bird feathering seen close up. Yes, it's fun to share.

Last weekend I led my third weekend this spring as a bird guide. This time I was very close to home, staying at the Northumbria Community's 'Nether Springs' base in mid Northumberland. We saw a good mix of wood and farmland birds locally including Tawny Owl, Yellowhammer and Common Whitethroat. Yet our highlight was the visit to East Chevington - a reed bed nature reserve on Druridge Bay. We sat outside in the sunshine and spent more than an hour watching birds nearby feeding, resting and flying. It was great to compare Sandwich, Common and Arctic Terns, or to check the plumage features of a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull. However, one gruesome moment stood out and it was worthy of Springwatch. An unfortunate Mallard duckling swam too close to a predatory Grey Heron. Lunge, catch, and 2 gulps later... the youngster was gone.

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