Sunday, 9 June 2013

Tundra Sandpipers

The Midrips - 1315hrs - cool, cloudy, ne 5 - After a morning spent pulling weeds at the allotment I was in serious need of some light relief and a good walk. Despite the strong wind I was considering the ranges and when a text came through from PB telling of Curlew Sand my mind was made up. This walk is also one of Barney`s favourites as it gives him plenty of leg room and scope for terrorising the local rabbit population (that sounds worse than it actual is, as being a right old Mr Softy no bunnies ever come to any harm). Anyhow, once we`d cleared the buildings at Jury`s Gap the full force of the wind blasted into us and I was beginning to think this was not such a great idea, although the show and scent from the Sea Kale, Sea Pink, Birds-foot Trefoil and many other plants was both intoxicating and spectacular.
The first lagoon rarely attracts much attention (maybe its too saline) and today was no different with just a scattering of Redshanks, Shelducks and two Avocets of note. A family of Wheatears was good to see along with two Mipits and Linnets with fledged young, plus six calling Med Gulls along the beach and at least 50 Shelducks on the ranges.
The second lagoon however was far more interesting and we settled down on the grassy bank to give it the full treatment; infact, it was one of the best collection of spring passage waders and breeders I`ve seen for a while. At least 25 Redshanks were `chipping` away amongst 10 Oystercatchers, 12 Avocets, 18 Ringed Plovers and 6 Lapwings, while summer plum, tundra-bound sandpipers included 10 Dunlins, 2 Barwits and singles of red Knot and Curlew Sandpiper (195), the latter being new for the Marsh year list. Very nice indeed, and well worth the slog into the icy wind (is it really June?).

                               Midrips floral display

RSPB - Called in at the VC on the way home where, presumably, yesterdays Little Stint was on Burrowes along with a Ringed Plover and hundreds of Swifts low over the lake. Along the access road Hobby and Cuckoo, while the Little Gull and dabbling ducks remained at the south end of ARC. There were many more Swifts and hirundines over the causeway road.

1 comment:

  1. My first experience of Dunge was The Midrips, back in the 'fifties. Stuffed full of birds then (early May) in the scrub and feeding on the insects out on the flowers on the 'gravelly' bits. Enjoyed the read, young Paul.