Friday, 21 November 2014

Lade shorebirds

Lade - 1100hrs - chilly, cloudy, e 2 - A late start due to a change over day. Couldn`t be bothered to drive so we worked the local patch extensively in typical murky November light. There was no change on the lakes apart from an increase in Pochard numbers and little passerine activity either, apart from a few Blackbirds, Goldfinches and Reed Buntings. However, the rough ground behind the `mirrors` and beside north lake was pretty busy, mostly with Woodpigeons (c500) and Starlings, plus a scattering of Skylarks, Mipits, Song Thrushes, Blackbirds and Robins. For some reason raptors appeared to be everywhere, but just the usual Marsh Harriers, two Buzzards and Kestrels; surely we must get a Roughie soon...

                                "This beats seawatching any day..."
                                Gannet, Greatstone tideline

                                Oystercatchers, Greatstone Beach

                                         Sanderling, Greatstone Beach

Anyhow, as the tide was falling we cut through Seaview Road to the beach and got the abacus out...
Nine out of ten shorebirds was the score (could not find a Ringed Plover) as follows: Curlew 155 (not all back from roost), Oystercatcher 825, Barwit 58, Grey Plover five, Redshank 12, Sanderling 520, Dunlin 310, Knot six  and Turnstone 18. Also present, eight Brents, three Shelducks, 50 Common Gulls, two Med Gulls, three Kittiwakes and along the tideline, two Skylarks, five Pied Wagtails, 20 Starlings and a long dead Gannet. As ever it was the Sanderlings that allowed the closest approach, smart little bundles of energy and always highly watchable.

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