Friday, 27 November 2009

BIRDS, BIRDS, BIRDS......and more birds

Today i continued the quest for the definitive Water Pipit pic, and i did venture further at St. Marys. I saw more birds today, both numbers and species, than i had in the last 3 weeks or more. I did start at the northern end of the promenade and the W. Pipit immediately announced its presence. The sun was shining and in the sheltered corner of the beach felt very pleasant but it was far more windy up in the open. The Turnstones and Sanderlings were rummaging about in the seaweed that has been collected in that corner as they have done the last twice i've been down, but this morning were joined by a Grey Wagtail and very quickly after a pair of Pied Wagtails. The Water Pipit continued its movements back and forth on the bank below the Pitch and Putt and i managed a few more, more than average shots of it. Having spent a very enjoyable hour or so i thought i had better move on before getting too settled.
I normally go down to St. Marys as the tide has turned and is incoming but this morning it was already in . It was however on the way out and as i followed the line of the prom as the rocks came into view it looked as if all the birdlife in the area had come down to the coast to enjoy a bit of sunshine and some slightly less blustery conditions. The rocks were a hive of activity, dozens of Redshank, hundreds of Lapwing, pockets of 20s or 30s of Sanderling, Turnstones doing what Turnstones do, all over the place, numerous groups of Oystercatchers and 34 Ringed Plovers gathered together on a couple of rocks. Obviously there were Gulls everywhere, Black Headed being the most along with Herring and Black Backed. As i scanned a little further the ever growing numbers of Golden Plover caught the eye. Within a couple of minutes, and for whatever reason, birds started taking to the air from every area of the rocky shoreline. A flock of Starling suddenly appeared from over my shoulder and joined in the display and for a short while became the focal point. But not to be outdone from what seemed to be two or three different directions loads and loads of Golden Plover dropped down to join what was already there and formed a greater flock and started doing there thing. Although not as acrobatic as the Starlings the advantage they do have is the way they almost twinkle in the sky as they twist and turn and the light catches them at different angles. They did what looked like a couple of circles of the lighthouse itself then started to fragment. As everything slowly decended back to the rocks a party of 30 or so Curlew came down to join them. After the lack of activity almost everywhere i had visited recently this had felt like some sort of grand firework display. You know, when you stand there with that silly satisfied look on yer face.
The water was receding off the causeway by now so i had a walk around the island but that WAS quiet. Never mind, i wandered back to the car via the full length of the prom., just in case the Snow Buntings had arrived and as i came up by the Pitch and Putt the pair of Pied Wagtails were bathing in a small puddle on the edge of the 14th tee . I turned to head to the car and there in the field next to the caravan park were ALL of the Golden Plover. Now, i had counted them the day before on the rocks but this was different. There were at least three times as many but there was no way i was going to be able to count these. Golden Plover as they are , they were spooked and the whole lot went up and off again. Nothing noticeable on the wetland a couple of female Shoveler being the highlight there. All in all a cracking morning out SUN, SEA, SAND and BIRDS BIRDS BIRDS..............heaven.

     Grey Wagtail 1

Grey Wagtail 2

Pied Wagtail 1

Pied Wagtail 2

I liked the composition of this
Rock Pipit ?

Golden Plover

Golden Plover
we have lift off

1 comment:

  1. John,

    Its just an amazing sight when the Plover decide to do "their thing" especially when the Lapwing or Starlings decide to join in for a while. Went to Big Waters today and found no water in the Feeding Station WOW.