Investigations have launched as seabirds wash up on Northumberland coast shorelines.
According to birdwatchers in the last few weeks hundreds of razorbills and guillemots have washed up dead on the shore between Humberside and Orkney.
Others have also raised concern about the amount of birds swimming ‘unusually close to shore’.
Tom Cadwallender, a freelance ornithologist who formerly worked for the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), described it as a ‘real mystery’.
He told the Northumberland Gazette: “On our part of the coast you would normally expect the razorbills and guillemots from the Farne Islands to be getting ready to go out to sea for the winter.
“For some unknown reason they are hanging around inshore and the ones which are still alive are not as active as they should be. They should be feeding quite frequently but they many are just sitting on the water.”
However, Tom did offer some expert theories behind the unusual behaviour.
“There are several schools of thought. One is that we had a run of northerly winds over the last few weeks which may have created turbulence at sea that may prevent them from feeding- but that has settled down now.
“It appears there are plenty of sand eels on our bit of the coast so it’s difficult to explain. I’ve been birdwatching on the Northumberland coast for 50 years and this is unprecedented.
“Hopefully we will find out soon what is happening, but it is quite alarming.”
Razorbills and guillemots nest among rocks in seabird colonies at the bottom of cliffs and feed on fish in the sea.
The seabird unit at UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has hinted these are indicators that ‘birds are getting desperate in their search for food’.
Dr Francis Daunt, ecologist at UKCEH, said: “The dead birds are little more than skin and bone, with many half their usual weight, which is catastrophically low. So, it appears that the birds are dying from starvation.
“This suggests that there is a lack of their fish prey in the sea, but people are seeing a lot of feeding flocks by our coasts at the moment, so perhaps starvation is being caused by something else.
“We have tested 10 birds for avian flu, all of which came back negative, and we are now looking at the possibility of toxic poisoning from algal blooms.”
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Rishi Sunak boasts of taking money from ‘deprived urban areas’
A recently leaked video shows the former chancellor saying that Labour “shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas” and that “needed to be undone”.
The video shows the former chancellor proudly telling grassroots Conservatives that he had started changing public funding formulas to ensure more prosperous towns receive “the funding they deserve”.
Shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy reaced to the video saying “Rishi Sunak is openly boasting that he fixed the rules to funnel taxpayers’ money to rich Tory shires.
What are your thoughts on the video, join the conversation on our Facebook page: North East Updates | Facebook
“Geordie lass” Lynsey Hipgrave to replace Jake Humphrey in BT Premier League coverage
BT Sport have replaced long-running presenter Jake Humphrey with Newcastle’s Lynsey Hipgrave. Hipgrave will now be the lead presenter for BT Sport’s Premier League coverage from the start of the 2022/23 season this weekend.
Jake Humphrey has hosted Premier League football for BT since it first came to the channel in the 2013-14 season. As well as this, he regularly presents their Champions League and Europa League coverage.
The role is a promotion for “football mad Geordie lass” Lynsey Hipgrave, who has been a secondary presenter for BT Sport since 2013. Her previous role was to present on other matches if BT were broadcasting multiple games at once, and to present Europa League coverage. With Humphrey’s departure, Hipgrave will now receive top billing.
Hipgrave compared her promotion to the progress women in football have made with England’s Euro 2022 success. She wrote that “after a weekend of dreams coming true for women in football, the dreams of a football mad Geordie lass have also come true.” Hipgrave, 42, even has “Toon, Toon, black and white army!” in her Twitter bio, with her cover photo a picture of the Quayside.
After a weekend of dreams coming true for women in football the dreams of a football mad Geordie lass have also come true… I couldn’t be any prouder to be leading @btsport’s Premier League coverage this season 🥳 We KO with Fulham v Liverpool on Saturday at 11.30am @btsport 1 ⚽️
— Lynsey Hipgrave (@lynseyhipgrave1) August 2, 2022
Initial reports suggested that BT Sports had ‘axed’ Jake Humphrey. Humphrey hit back at “misleading nonsense headlines”. He clarified that he will continue to host some coverage, including Champions League football for BT, and the decision came after he held talks to reduce his busy schedule. Hipgrave, however, will take over the top spot in the presenting team.
Humphrey showed that there is no ill will in his response to Hipgrave’s announcement: “You’re going to be amazing Lynsey. So delighted for you. Please just let me back for the odd game.”
Yes. Ignore the misleading nonsense headlines. I spoke to BT about being too busy and we agreed I’d host less PL games.
— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) August 2, 2022
Lynsey Hipgrave, born in Newcastle and a Magpies fan, first made her name on Radio 5 Live, co-presenting on the Danny Baker Show since 2010. She has also hosted sports coverage for Al Jazeera and ESPN. She will host her first game in the new role, Fulham vs Liverpool, this Saturday.
Newcastle United fans will hope her appointment might lead to some more favourable coverage of the club in future.
Our top picks ahead of Newcastle’s restaurant week
Newcastle’s restaurant week returns this summer from the 8th to the 14th of August. It’s set to be bigger than ever before!
The twice-yearly event is highly anticipated. It’s a great chance for everyone to try out local food spots at fantastic, affordable prices.
This is the 21st time restaurant week has ran and it’s extremely popular. NE1 now reports that this event boosts the local economy by more than £600,000 every time it’s held!
We’ve narrowed down our top picks so you can pick between the best places to celebrate Newcastle restaurant week.
Scream for Pizza:
This popular pizza spot has two great offers during restaurant week.
For £10 you can get any slice of pizza, the choice between an ‘I Scream Sundae’ or an ‘I Scream Cone’ and a dip and a soft drink.
For £20 you can get any big pie, two dips, and either two house alcoholic drink or one ‘I Scream Sundae’ to share.
If you haven’t tried the famous pizza slices you are truly missing out! And now is the perfect time to get yourself a delicious slice of pizza and an unmissable deal.
They have lots of choice of toppings, from Lamb Fender (Baharat sauce, mozzarella, lamb kofta, red pepper, tzatziki and parsley) to Truffle in Paradise (vegan truffle cream, mushrooms, caramelised fennel and roasted pumpkin seeds). You’ll be spoilt for choice.
Situated on the Quayside, you can have yourself a delicious 3 course meal for only £20 (and 2 courses for £15).
This Japanese restaurant and sushi bar serves up Asian inspired cuisine, offering a creative and unique menu. Their offer extends throughout all of August 2022 (excluding Saturday evenings).
You can choose between chicken katsu sushi, salmon nigiri, tempura vegetables and many other options to start. For main, we were particularly drawn to the teriyaki chicken robata marinated in soy, garlic, garlic, mirin, sake and coriander.
It really is an offer you can’t afford to miss out on.
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