Antony Gormley meets Anish Kapoor

Hello birdwatchers

Over the last week, in addition to my indoor and outdoor classes, I’ve managed to get some birding time with friends. On Tuesday I visited South Gare and RSPB Saltholme on Teesside for the first time in ages. We’d hoped for easterly winds so that we could see some visible migration however the weather was quite settled and still. Birding was quiet but we did enjoy watching the few birds that were around in the beautiful sunshine. RSPB Saltholme provides an excellent view of Temenos, the first of the Tees Valley Giants by artist Anish Kapoor, creator of Olympic centrepiece, Orbit. Temenos, which is Greek for ‘Sacred Ground’ consists of 5.1 miles of steel cables suspended between two steel rings, 50 metres above the ground. It was installed in Middlehaven in 2010 and from Saltholme, appears to the right of the Transporter Bridge.

Turnstone at South Gare

Kittiwake at South Gare
Golden plover at South Gare
Snipe at RSPB Saltholme

On Sunday I joined a group of Birdwatchers on their coach trip to RSPB Leighton Moss and Hest Bank. Again we had great weather and I really enjoyed everyone’s company on the coach. It was the first time I’d visited Leighton Moss at this time of year. I arrived just in time to see a couple of otters playfully tumbling in the water. There were signs of autumn everywhere. Birch leaves were turning yellow and vibrant red guelder rose berries dripped with dew. The lagoons were lively with posturing and squabbling wildfowl and bands of tits and finches roamed the damp woodland in search of food. Squealing water rails could be heard deep in the reedbed. Later that day, as our visit was coming to an end, our attention was diverted from the birds when loud groanings filled the air. Red deer stags announced their presence all around the reserve. The rutting season had started.

Red deer stag at RSPB Leighton Moss

Teal performed their clockwork-like posturing

On the previous day, I took a couple of birdwatchers on my scheduled trip to RSPB Marshside and Crosby Beach to see the Antony Gormley installation, Another Place. Flocks of pink-footed geese passed back and forth throughout our visit to Marshside, at one time stretching across the whole of our view of the sky. Again the weather was fantastic apart from a dramatic black cloud over Blackpool which eventually circled round us and gave us a quick shower just as we got back to the car for lunch. A rainbow signified the all clear and we continued our birdwatching before heading south to Crosby Beach.

A heavy storm over Blackpool

Mute swan, snipe, wigeon and coot at Marshside

Our visit to Crosby Beach was timed for low tide so that we could see quite a few of the 100 cast iron, life sized statues that stretch 3 kilometres along the beach and 1 kilometre out to sea. We were also able to watch birds on the incoming tide and managed to see quite a few waders including grey plover, ringed plover, knot, dunlin, sanderling, oystercatchers and redshank.

Life sized sculptures of Antony Gormley look to Another Place

Crosby Beach

After learning about how to attract more wildlife into their gardens last week, the new birdwatchers at Rodley Nature Reserve are now taking their first steps into the world of bird songs and calls. If you are interested in learning more about indoor and outdoor classes then contact me on 07778 768719, or visit

Post a comment

Print your tickets