Visit Craster, published by the Craster Community Trust
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Birdwatching

THINGS TO DO

Craster Harbour
Dunstanburgh Castle
Howick Hall & Gardens
Craster Kippers
Sea Fishing
Mick Oxley Gallery
Stable Yard Nursery
Coastal Walks
Birdwatching
Photography
Golf
Children's Playground
Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve
Northumberland Coast AONB
Alnwick

Further Afield

A wide range of different habitats mean that Craster is a particularly rich environment for bird watching. Many species can be seen in the village and within a short walk, along the coast or inland.

There is a good chance of seeing the following birds:

In the Surrounds of the Village

chaffinch

goldfinch

greenfinch

bullfinch

siskin

great tit

blue tit

coal tit

long tailed tit

crow

rook

jackdaw

starling

black bird

thrush

swallow

house martin

swift

house sparrow

dunnock

wren

robin

pheasant

collared dove

wood pigeon

sparrow hawk

barn owl

tawny owl

short eared owl

During the summer, bats become obvious at dusk, circling the buildings and trees for prey.

Gorse, Grassland and Hueghs

Barn Owl
Barn owl by the road between Rennington & Craster photographed by Janet & David Hall, visitors to Craster.

Stonehatches are common in the area and usually to be found on the landward slopes of Dunstanburgh Castle. Also around the Castle, look out for wheatear and linnet. Skylarks are to be seen in the fields between Craster and Cullernose. On the pools near Dunstanburgh Castle look out for coot, moorhen and mute swans.

Heugh is the name given locally to limestone escarpments, which typically have cliffs to landward and slope gently to the sea. The gate opposite the Tourist Information Centre gives access to a pleasant path to Dunstanburgh Castle, bounded by the heugh on the seaward side, where yellowhammer and linnets are to be found. Buzzards, which are resident inland of Craster, sometimes patrol the heughs.

Kittiwake

Around the harbour

Eider duck, turnstone, redshank, black headed gulls and herring gulls are common. Pied, and more rarely grey, wagtails may also be seen.

Foreshore

Oyster catchers, eider ducks and rock pipits are common. Little auks are seen when bad weather blows them south from their normal habitats. Snow buntings winter along the shore line in small flocks. Heron, curlew and redshank may be seen all year round.

Out to Sea

Some distance from the shore, gannets may be seen travelling north or south and sometimes diving for fish. With a pair of binoculars and some patience, puffins and guillemots may be spotted offshore during the summer. Arctic and sandwich terns are more easily seen summer visitors, diving for fish close to the shore. Shags, cormorants, black headed, and herring gulls are common.

Sea Cliffs at Dunstanburgh Castle and Cullernose Point

Kittiwakes and fulmar are summer visitors. When they are nesting, look out for crows stealing eggs and chicks at Cullernose Point. Razorbills and shag also nest at Dunstanburgh. Peregrine falcon may be seen on the cliffs of Dunstanburgh Castle.

Download Northumbrian bird watching guides from Visit Northumberland

Those interested in taking a more active interest could join the
North Northumberland Bird Club
, the
Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club
or the
Northumberland Wildlife Trust
.

For the musings of a local bird watcher, visit the Boulmer Birder

Birdwatching Tours

Borders and Northumberland Birdwatching Tours
Birdwatch Northumbria

turnstones

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