Category: BRITAIN
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NORTHUMBERLAND (Berwick-Upon-Tweed), (S)

National Grid NU 125 415 00o00´/00o00´ N/A ha 0-20m, arable land and meadows with hedges and a rugged rocky coastline

Anytime especially spring and autumn (24.01.00 to 29.01.00 and 27.01.00-31.01.00)


Birding Site Guide

This is an excellent birding destination in the far NE of England not far from the Scottish border. Holy Island is linked to the mainland by a causeway of about a mile this is only passable at low tide so arrival and departure need to be timed accordingly. However, it is possible to stay on Holy Island in the village though this may be more expensive than the mainland and heavily booked for the tourist season. There are various tourist shops in the village including places to eat and drink.

We stayed at Beal, the first few houses and pub on the mainland, both times. The place was a sort of youth hostel, but it would be better to enquire at the pub or try a little further along the A1.

Birding on the island is very rewarding with plenty of seabirds most of the year, with breeding seabirds here and at the nearby Farne Islands, which are 5 miles or so south (owned by National Trust, see their website). There are also many familiar garden and farmland birds and the area does attract migrants in good numbers. Obviously at the time of our visits migration was not much in evidence though. On the island is the castle, which as well as being a major tourist attraction is also a good place to check for birds. Being only a couple of miles around, the island is easily checked either by car or on foot.

There are many other areas within easy travelling distance of Holy Island which are well worth visiting and can include other species. These may include within 10 miles to the south: Fenham Flats (with Guile and Ross Point), Budle Bay and Stag Rocks, Craster, Low Newton and about 15 miles south Druridge Bay Country Park (South of Amble) and Chevington Drift Country Park just inland of Druridge Bay.

Over the border and just into Scotland to the north and nearer to Edinburgh on the A1, Dunbar and also in Edinburgh; Musselburgh off A199 (and Black Rocks and Granton Harbour). Some of these may have separate write-ups here on BSG, look on the menu or search.


Birds seen (some species were on close-by mainland)


Author: BSG