Annual bird race set to be held at Souter Lighthouse - here's how you can get involved

Birds watchers will be getting themselves in a flap this weekend in South Tyneside.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 2:59 pm
Goldfinch. Picture by Dougie Holden

Souter Lighthouse’s annual bird race takes place on Sunday January 5 – with National Trust rangers and members of the local Coastal Conservation Group leading nature lovers in a one-day event to count as many bird species as they can.

The aim is to cover as large an area as possible in eight hours, with competing teams of birders either in vehicles or covering up to 15 miles on foot.

Each team will record their findings, hoping to beat last year’s total of 94 different species.

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Dougie Holden at Souter Lighthouse

As well as familiar species like jackdaws, goldfinches and herring gulls, sightings in 2019 included the rarer species peregrine falcon, treecreeper and little egret.

The event is open to bird spotters of all ages and abilities.

Dougie Holden, National Trust ranger at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas said: “We’d love to see more people getting involved. Last year, we had seven teams taking part. It’s a very friendly event, but there’s definitely a competitive edge, with everyone keen to spot the most species. We welcome newcomers and absolute beginners, teaming up with experienced birders is a great way to learn.”

The bird race starts and finishes at Souter Lighthouse in Whitburn on Sunday, January 5, at 7.30am for an 8am start and 4pm finish.

Treecreeper. Picture by Dougie Holden

Email [email protected] or phone 0191 529 0909 to sign up.

Picture by John Millar
Little Egret. Picture by Dougie Holden