Tuesday 29 August 2023

Mobile Purple Sandpiper

A freshish west wind. An early shower then dry with sunny spells till more rain in the evening.

South Shore on rising tide (MD)
The waders weren't flushed today, but were already feeding towards the edge of the recording area when I started, and they continued moving south as the tide rose.
Numbers similar to yesterday for Grey Plover, Bar-Tailed Godwit and Dunlin. But fewer Knot, c250.
More Ringed Plover 25
Curlew only 50
Oystercatcher also only c50
As I was scanning the skies yesterday for a "large raptor", that I'd assumed had spooked the birds, watchers (on full zoom) from Cockersands saw an Osprey resting on one of the posts in the sea out from Ocean Edge! I'll remember to check the posts as well as the skies next time.
Redshank c150 most on Red Nab
Turnstone 11 Red Nab
Lapwing 4 saltmarsh 
This Lapwing is after Harbour Ragworm, it catches one at the very beginning of this clip. Watch also the Wood Pigeon, it is drinking the fresh groundwater as it seeps up through the mud.

This is a detail from the above clip, you can see the worm being pulled from its hole.
Harbour Ragworm are named after their preferred terrain, not the deep harbours we think of today,
but traditional ancient landing areas, which were often just creeks into a marsh where a boat could be 
grounded at high water to be unloaded/loaded before floating off on the next tide. An area like our saltmarsh.

There were lots of gull today. Mainly Black-Headed with several Common. Also
Mediterranean Gulls 5 adult
Sandwich Tern 11 resting on the mud and occasionally flying around 
Sandwich Tern, left. Mediterranean gull lower right, with a Common gull just behind it and two above.

This clip is when the tide was pushing the gulls up the shore. There are at least one Mediterranean gull and four Sandwich Tern, but not easy to spot. Watch in slow motion. Note also the young Black-Headed gull with a piece of weed. More on this next.

The young Black-Headed gulls were, what can only be described as, "playing". One would pick up a piece of weed or a stick and others followed and picked it up again when it was dropped. Like all play, you have to hope it is fun, but it definitely hones the skills the birds will require to survive.
Swallow 4 south 
Pied/White Wagtail 10 in one flock east
Rock Pipit 4
Wheatear 1

Heliport (PM)
Redshank 720
Turnstone 225
Knot 7 juvenile 
Lapwing 24
Dunlin 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Purple Sandpiper 1 adult in summer plumage heliport seawall 
then the flock flushed probably by ground predator and 1/3 of the Redshank and Turnstone with the Purple Sandpiper flew towards Heysham Head.
5 Curlew, 
5500 Oystercatcher,