Saturday 21 May 2022

Small waders, low numbers, but good fun!

Light west wind all day. Mainly overcast with light showers, but some sun in the evening.

Heysham skear (MD)
I did a full check at low water this morning.
Eider 58
Male Eider with a single female

Great Crested Grebe 4
Little Egret 3
There were no waders on the outer skears except Oystercatcher, but the inner skear was quite busy:
Curlew 7
Whimbrel 1
Ringed Plover 7 (4+3)
Ringed Plover

Turnstone 6
Turnstone in summer plumage 

Unfortunately no Sanderling seen this morning, so I had a look this evening. At 20:00 the skear just out from Sunnyslopes groyne was becoming exposed, and Sanderlings were around. I don't know if this is a time of day thing or time of the tide, but it might be worth checking out about 08:30 in the morning to establish.
Sanderling two groups of 4 and 5 plus several sightings of individual birds, which may have become detached from the larger groups. They were very mobile and very difficult to keep track of them, as they disappear behind the slightest rise. So at least 9, probably 11+. This was about the best clip I managed, one of these birds has well developed summer plumage.

Dunlin 5 - these flew in and landed only 4m from me. In contrast to the Sanderling they stood motionless and immediately disappeared into the background. These are two of them, obviously they have total confidence in their camouflage, and well founded too!
Two Dunlin