Field Notes - Walk 2

Field Notes - Walk day 2

Saturday, May 21, 2011
Blaydon: Natural Historians - Keith Bowey and Tina Wiffe

View VARC Walk 2; 22nd May 2011 in a larger map

We started at 10.00 am at Bill Quay Farm, in the café. Our route then re-joined the Keelman’s Way and continued along the river to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts. We then walked under the Tyne’s bridges, and just past Dunstan Staithes, we took a small detour to the edge of the river to do a spot of bird-watching. We then continued to the mouth of the River Derwent, where we stopped briefly to look at the wildlife on the river. We next walked under Scotswood Bridge and Blaydon Bridge, where the route diverts slightly from the Tyne, before joining it again at the journey’s end at the Black Bull in Blaydon. Participants used either the rail and bus service that runs from Blaydon. Bill Quay Farm could be reached by bus, or metro (Pelaw).  This walk would normally take 2.5 hours, but our meander lasted nearly 5 hours allowing time to stop, look and listen.

Day 2: 22nd May; Bill Quay - Blaydon: Natural Historians - Keith Bowey and Tina Wiffen


The walk started at Bill Quay Farm at 10.00 am, beginning with a cup of tea or coffee and a chance to run through our route for the day in the café. Walking through the farm, we took our time, looking in the fields and on the river for flora and fauna. Our route then re-joined the Keelman’s Way and continued along the river to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts, where we  took a break, as well as looking at the bird-life on the river. We then walked under the Tyne’s bridges, keeping to the Gateshead side of the river. Just past Dunston Staiths, we took a small detour to the edge of the river to do a spot of bird-watching and then continued on past the Metro Centre to the mouth of the River Derwent, where again stopped briefly to look at the wildlife on the river.  We next walked under Scotswood Bridge and Blaydon Bridge, following the river. Just after Blaydon Bridge, the route diverted slightly from the Tyne, before joining it again at our journey’s end at Blaydon where we refreshed ourselves at the Black Bull pub.

 

So, just what did we encounter walking the Tyne from Bill Quay to Blaydon? The usual finches and warblers at Bill Quay, including the Blackcap, with one of the most beautiful birdsongs (along of course with the Blackbird – one of THE most mellifluous of singers) – and the Common Spotted Orchid was still flowering around the end of May. At the Baltic we saw the Kittiwakes and further along the river on the mudflats, we saw Redshank, Curlew and Common Sandpiper whilst on the adjacent land we spotted Sea Buckthorn. Around the site of the old Garden Festival there was Wild Celery and White Melitot. Further on we found for Yellow-wort and Common Century - and by late May the Shelduck on the river were accompanied by ducklings.