Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Some unusual sightings at Blyth Harbour 10/3/09

At 5 o'clock we went to Blyth Harbour for the glauc that is meant to be there. On our way in on the path there was some little birds which turned out to be linnet. Further on, we saw the two Iceland Gulls straight away on the pier again. As we went on we saw many black-headed, herring and great black-backed gulls but no glauc. We went to the very end of the far pier looking for the glauc. We had two unexpected sightings of creatures in the sea. The first we saw was two common porpoise jumping up. While we were watching them, a seal popped it's head out the water for a look but we didn't see it again when it went back down. They were good sightings and some relatively good photos as well. Blyth Lighthouse
Seal Linnet
Common Porpoise


  1. Hi Jack, your small brown bird is a Linnet. They are very similar to Twite but they have a distictive grey patterned head. Yours looks like a male in winter plumage, but it could possibly be a female. Tricky to tell at this angle...
    Nice pics, lucky to get one of the Porpoise...

  2. Hi Jack... yeah wot he said ! That little brown job is a linnet....

    You've got a great photo of it tho.... linnets are less streaked that twite, and their backs are slightly more rufous and not as brown as twite. They tend to have more "reddish" tones than twite too.

    Twite are generally darker brown, although they do show an orangey "crunchie bar coloured" wash to the breast and face in winter.

    The other feature you've captured well on this bird is the plainer grey head, twite tend be darker brown and have a streaked crown (at close range). If you look at the head of your linnet you can also see a pale spot below the eye, this is a really good ID feature for linnet, but you have to get close enough to see it !

  3. I was at Blyth quayside just after five and saw the two porpoise swim upstream past the Alcan terminal but wasn't good enough to catch them on film

  4. Thanks for your comments, everyone. I have corrected by blog to a linnet.