Bird Watching in North Northumberland

Location 1 – The Farne Islands (340/223323)

A two mile boat trip from Seahouses they offer some of the best birding in Europe with Eider, Puffin, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Sandwich, Roseate and Arctic Terns, Shag and many other species. Surprisingly there are few Razorbills. Look over the harbour wall at Seahouses for Rock Pipits. Pelagics also possible.

Location 2 – Budle Bay (340/146345)

Budle Bay is a beautiful tidal inlet and has a long tarmac pavement parking stretch for about three hundred yards alongside the bay. This provides a great viewing point to observe right across the inward section of the bay. Information boards are provided at intervals to five details of the birds that can be found here. Also, there are some good wooded areas behind. You can combine this with Fenham le Moor mud flats (340/097398) which has a hide and the only wintering quarters in the UK of the Pale Bellied Brent Goose. Whooper Swans winter in the fields and Hen Harrier and Peregrine are often seen. Little Egret roost in the trees behind.

Location 3 – Holy Island (340/125425)

Holy Island is a migration hot spot Merlin, Short-eared Owl and Reed Warbler but also check the bridge on the causeway for Long Tailed duck and waders. The south channel is good for Divers and Grebes in the winter. Seawatching is possiblefrom the bridge on the causeway when being cut off by the tide. On no attempt should you do this unless you have got permission from the Coastguard. If you have not, you will be forcibly removed and fined.

Location 4 – Monkshouse Ponds (340/205335)

Going north out of Seahouses you pass Monkshouse Ponds which have a good selection of gulls and ducks. A mile or two up the road is Stag Rocks, 340/176358 great for seawatching, a roost for Purple Sandpipers in the winter whilst Fulmars breed on the castle and cliffs above the golf course.

Location 5 – The Tweed Estuary at Berwick (346/999524)

Has winter Goldeneye, Mergansers and Goosanders.

Location 6 – The Bass Rock

Although not actually in North Northumberland, has the world’s largest Gannet Colony is only 45 minute drive away via Dunbar harbour . Bookings for trips out to this wonderful site can be made at

Other Locations

Coquet Island (332/295045) is one of Northumberlands protected nesting sites and cannot be landed on. You need to get a boat from Amble. Puffins, Roseate and Arctic terns. Pelagic trips can also be organised from here and Seahouses. Roseate Tern Long Nanny (340/228272) is a Little Tern colony. You access it by a mile walk from the car park to the south by Newton Links through the dunes which have Stonechat and other species. Newton Pool (332/242239). You have to park about ¾ of a mile away but I got a Jack Snipe here once plus the village has a lovely little pub with food and its own microbrewery! Whimbrel Pictures of birds underlined to be used for each individual location.

Northumberland has a variety of bird life second to none. From the Puffin colonies on the Farnes to Birds of Prey (Common Buzzards are quite prolific) North Northumberland has something for everyone. A number of the best sites for Birdwatching are below with the GPS coordinates for each.