Day 12 – Kielder

Drove to Kielder Forest and Water. Buzzards and kestrel spied on journey. Drove around Water stopping at various places. Lots of chaffinches, heard and caught glimpse of tiny goldcrests in the treetops – and another baby rabbit! Alas no red squirrel sightings.

Stopped off at Bakethin Reservoir to go to a bird hide. Tide was up so not as much to see as might have done, but saw a heron, several mallards, some tufted ducks, a little grebe, lots of fish jumping and one startled moorhen….startled because of the otter! Great views as it swam across the deep, still waters from one of the islands, effortlessly diving down and back up again, totally streamlined and delightful to watch.
‘Have you ever seen an otter in the wild?’ Andy mouthed at me (we weren’t alone in the hide at the time). I shook my head gleefully. I’d been reading the leaflet which said otters might be spotted at dawn and dusk. It was 2.30 in the afternoon.
‘You don’t get to see otters very often,’ the man next to us explained to his two young sons, all dressed up in their camouflage gear and carrying fantastic cameras(!!)

Stopped at Kielder Castle and went to tea room where we had warm bakewell tart with custard! Walked around grounds in one last ditch attempt to see red squirrel…nope. Still, we’d seen an otter!

Drove across dam but couldn’t see over wall! Oystercatcher on the side of the road. Drove back to cottage and went down the road to eat at the Lodge bar and restaurant.

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