Monday, 9 September 2013

Purple Sandpiper

Lade - cool, cloudy, showery, n 2 - sw 4 - A cool cloudy day peppered with light showers, while the  wind was all over the place. A good thrash around the local patch revealed little in the way of migrants apart from Reed and Sedge Warblers in the willow swamp, 50 Sand Martins/Swallows over the water and 2 Yellow Wagtails south. There were however the usual hundreds of common ducks, geese and grebes, including a Black-necked Grebe and Garganey, on south lake but no sign of any waders.

                                Purple Sandpiper, Dungeness

Dungeness -  A couple of hours seawatching from the boats this afternoon with PB and DW yielded a few dozen Common and Sandwich Terns too-ing and fro-ing and feeding just offshore, distant Gannets, up to 6 Arctic Skuas, a Little Gull, Sanderling, a flock of 13 Common Scoters and 3 Harbour Porpoises. However, half way through the watch a small, dark wader flew past and pitched up on the beach for a quick nap amongst the gulls. On closer inspection it proved to be a Purple Sandpiper, a scarce, but near annual autumn migrant down here and only my second on the Peninsula. After taking a few pics we left it in peace and returned to the boats whereupon a few minutes later it flew back east along the shoreline.
NB: news from the bird reserve today concerned diminishing numbers of waders on Burrowes and ARC but nothing new to get excited about (PB).

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