The Illuminating Lens

Castles, Sheep & a Few Birds – Bamburgh, Northumberland, England – Day 3 – 2022

When on a birding workshop you must be flexible!  That is especially true when you are depending on a boat ride in the North Sea to see the birds!  On our third day in England, we could see from our balcony that there was a very thick sea fog and the winds were higher than on previous days. So when Denise Ippolito, our workshop leader, told us no boat rides today, we were not surprised.

It is always a good idea to have a Plan B and on this day, we would spend the day on land!  We were not far from several castles and since we had all day, we could also stop along the way if we saw something of interest.  But, Denise told us that we would get in some birding later in the day!

So we loaded into the vehicles and drove to that castle we could see from our balcony!

Our Visit to Bamburgh and Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle is the main attraction in Bamburgh so I headed for that as soon as I could.  I pulled out my infrared converted camera as this was the perfect place for it!

     Some Details from Wikipedia

Bamburgh Castle is a castle on the northeast coast of England, by the village of Bamburgh in Northumberland. It is a Grade I listed building.

The site was originally the location of a Celtic Brittonic fort known as Din Guarie and may have been the capital of the kingdom of Bernicia from its foundation in c. 420 to 547. In that latter year, it was captured by King Ida of Bernicia. After passing between the Britons and the Anglo-Saxons three times, the fort came under Anglo-Saxon control in 590. The fort was destroyed by Vikings in 993, and the Normans later built a new castle on the site, which forms the core of the present one. After a revolt in 1095 supported by the castle’s owner, it became the property of the English monarch.

In the 17th century, financial difficulties led to the castle deteriorating, but it was restored by various owners during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was finally bought by the Victorian-era industrialist William Armstrong, who completed its restoration. The castle still belongs to the Armstrong family and is open to the public.

Bamburgh Castle – Super Color Infrared with Nikon Z6 with Nikon Z 24-70mm lens


The castle and its fortifications were so long that it was hard to get the entire structure in one shot.

Bamburgh Castle – Nikon Z7 with Nikon Z 14-22mm lens


As I walked around I decided to try some more intimate scenes.

Stairs Up into Bamburgh Castle – Infrared – Nikon Z6 with Nikon Z 24-70mm lens


Closer View of the Main part of Bamburgh Castle – iPhone 12 Pro Max


I eventually found a spot where I could get a fairly unobstructed view of the entire castle.  Here is where I shot the images for an infrared panorama!

Infrared Panorama – Bamburgh Castle – Nikon Z6 with Nikon Z 24-70mm lens (7 overlapping vertical images combined in Lightroom)


From there I walked over to the village of Bamburgh.

      Some Details from Wikipedia

Bamburgh (/ˈbæmbərə/ BAM-bər-ə) is a village and civil parish on the coast of Northumberland, England. It had a population of 454 in 2001, decreasing to 414 at the 2011 census.

The village is notable for the nearby Bamburgh Castle, a castle which was the seat of the former Kings of Northumbria, and for its association with the Victorian era heroine Grace Darling, who is buried there.

The extensive beach by the village was awarded the Blue Flag rural beach award in 2005. The Bamburgh Dunes, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, stand behind the beach. Bamburgh is popular with holidaymakers and is within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Super-color Infrared of buildings in the village of Bamburgh. Nikon Z6 with Nikon Z 24-70mm lens.


Since it was the end of June, there were flowers blooming all over the village.

Yellow Poppy – iPhone 23 Pro Max


Yellow Rose – Nikon Z7 with Nikon Z 14-24mm lens.


As I walked around the village, it began to rain.  None of the buildings had much of an eave, so I ran across the street to a large thick-leaved tree.  After the rain stopped I looked around the wall I was standing by and saw this old church.

St Aidan’s Church – Infrared – Nikon Z6 with Nikon Z 24-70mm lens.


I walked around the next wall to see this view of St Aidan’s.

St Aidan’s Church – Nikon Z7 with Nikon Z 14-24mm lens.


I made my way over to where we were supposed to meet up and just had to get an image of one of those iconic English phone booths!

It was Red but for some reason, I shot it with the Infrared Camera!


Denise let us know that we were in for a treat at the small ice cream store in the village. Wyndenwell has some very yummy gelato, especially the lemon and chocolate/orange!

On to the English Countryside

Upon getting back to the vehicle we discussed a couple of other castles in the area.  On the way to one of them, we stopped at an opening in the hedgerow that the small roads were bordered by.  There was this small herd of sheep with that dramatic sky in the background!

English Countryside – Infrared – Nikon Z6 with Nikon Z 24-70mm lens.


We wanted to visit the “Harry Potter Castle”, Alnwick Castle.  But upon arriving at the “parking” area we realized that it would be at least a mile walk to the “castle” and we had a couple of members of our group who could not walk that far.

We then headed for another local castle, Dunstanburgh Castle, but again, when we found the entrance and talked to the attendant we found that it was another long hike to get close to this one.

So we drove back to our lodge in Seahouses for a short break.

Seahouses Harbor Cliffs and the Kittiwakes!

That afternoon we gathered our gear and drove to Seahouses.  We walked through the village out to a “beach” right next to the harbor as the tide was out.   There you can walk down to the water and if lucky the Eider Ducks will come to visit you.  They have been fed by the visitors so they are happy to walk up to you.

Two female Eider Ducks and their ducklings. Nikon D850 with 200-500mm lens.


These ducklings were so cute!

Eider Duckling – Nikon D850 with 200-500mm lens.


From this “beach” we went up some stone stairs that took us back up to the village and then walked along the cliffs just beyond the village.  There is a path that takes you to a golf course.  Looking out from the cliffs and down at the cliffs I began to see a lot of Kittiwakes.  They are related to seagulls.  This species was the Black-Legged Kittiwake.   We could get pretty close to the edge of the cliff so I had to be very careful.  The kittiwakes were nesting on very small ledges below me.

KIttiwake on the cliff ledge. Nikon D850 with Nikon 200-500mm lens.


Denise had told us to watch these birds closely as they have bright red around their mouths! So you have to catch them as they are screeching at their mate or neighbor!

The brightly colored mouth of a kittiwake. Nikon D850 with Nikon 200-500mm lens.


The cliff I was standing on was very high from the shore below.  In fact, I took the following image and did not realize until I got it onto my computer and zoomed in that there was a flock of Oystercatchers and a couple of male Eider Ducks down there!

Oystercatchers and Male Eider Ducks below the cliffs of Seahouses, England. Nikon D850 with Nikon 200-500mm lens.


We were running out of time, so I hoped we could get back here on another day!

If you are in northern England, take the time to check out the local castles, villages and for sure the cliffs of Seahouses (in June only for nesting kittiwakes).

Click on any image to see a larger version OR visit my galleries to see and purchase prints and other items with these and many additional images: Gallery Link: Bamburgh and Bamburgh Castle    and Seahouses Harbor Cliffs  

Day 4 of my northern England coast adventure will take us back to the Farne Islands and Inner Farne!

That is all for now!



Lynn Wiezycki

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