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Mystery on Northumberland coast as seabirds ‘wash up on shorelines’

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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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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United

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North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..

 

“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”

 

Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.

 

What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

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Sunday for Sammy Concert Cancelled For 2023 Due To Cost of Living

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A popular charity concert will not be held in 2023 due to the cost of living crisis.

Sunday for Sammy, which is held in memory of North East actor Sammy Johnson, is a biennial event aimed at benefitting young performers.

The long-running event has featured the likes of Joe McElderry, Johnny Vegas, Brenda Blethyn, Denise Welch, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Mark Knopfler, Jill Halfpenny and Ant and Dec.

Tim Healy, who hosts Sunday for Sammy, said: “We’ve had lots of enquiries over the recent months asking when the next Sunday for Sammy will take place.

“We are very much aware at the moment that people are struggling with day-to-day living costs and are watching their pennies. Everything is becoming more and more expensive and that includes the cost of putting on a show the size of ours.”

He added: “We can’t in good conscious put on a show that we aren’t sure people can afford to be tickets for. It would be wrong to risk your money you have generously given us.

“So sadly we have decided that there won’t be a show in 2023. We’re going to wait until the time is right.”

Often dubbed The Geordie Command Performance, the shows, which have been running for more than 20 years, are held in memory of Geordie actor Sammy Johnson, who died in 1999.

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STACK Newcastle Bosses Scrap Plans For Christmas Pop-Up Venue

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The owners of STACK have confirmed that there won’t be a pop-up version in Newcastle this Christmas, as plans have been shelved.

At the end of September it was reported that STACK’s owner, Danieli Group, were hoping to bring the brand back to the heart of Newcastle after its Pilgrim Street site was demolished earlier this year, after becoming a firm favourite with locals and visitors since 2018. The pop-up, close to the Crowne Plaza hotel in the Stephenson Quarter, looked set to be a massive draw before STACK makes its permanent return to the city next year, was planned to feature a number of shipping container bars, a new take on its famous Hadrian’s Tipi, street food vans, a stage and large screen, all on one level.

But, it has now been announced that the proposed STACK festive pop-up won’t be happening anymore. Confirming the decision, Neill Winch, CEO of Danieli Group said that while it was sad news that the pop-up would no longer take place, it meant the company can forge ahead with the Worswick Chambers plan.

He commented: “We know how much people miss not having a STACK in Newcastle so we are concentrating our efforts on creating what will become a flagship site back where STACK first began,” he said.

“Work is well underway on the scheme with a view to being open in winter 2023.”

In recent weeks it has announced new developments in Lincoln, Durham, Bishop Auckland and Carlisle.

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