Cute feathery friends make South Tyneside coast their home

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Two feathery families made South Tyneside’s coastline their home - to the delight of a wildlife ranger.

A clutch of meadow pipits and skylarks decided to nest on the Leas at Marsden in South Shields.

Dougie Holden

Dougie Holden

Dougie Holden, the National Trust’s ranger for the area, was tasked with nest recording, working under licence from The British Trust for Ornithology, when he discovered the baby birds earlier this year.

He said: “The adult birds are often heard in spring, high above their nesting territory, belting out a beautiful song on blue skied sunny mornings.

“Both species are ground nesting and therefor have cryptic plumage for camouflage purposes. Nests are a simple grass cup lined with hair. Incubation of eggs is anywhere between 12-14 days and chicks are fully fledged at around three weeks old.”

The birds are now fully grown and have flown off, but Mr Holden from South Shields, was thrilled he had the chance to see them just after they had hatched.

What a wonderful job I have.

Dougie Holden

He said: “As already mentioned, we see adult birds on a daily basis but we don’t often get privileged view such as these - what a wonderful job I have being a National Trust Ranger.

“However, I must stress that this type of work should only be carried out with the permission of the British Trust for Ornithology.”