Thursday, 18 August 2011

Backsand News

With the day being overcast and there being a brisk ENE wind a sea watch was deemed appropriate.
For the next hour or so we watched the sea; not birds, just the sea. There were a few dots on the horizon wheeling about that eventually came a little closer – well close enough to see the dots had wings – to allow recognition – gannets. Another 3 dots moved down channel; these never did get close enough to see wings but I was reliably informed they were ducks. I’m not sure whether a species was suggested because by that time I was losing the will to live.
Eventually all bad things have to come to an end and we drove up to Princes and found 9 wheatears on the grass in front of the new buildings/old club house but no whinchats.
After a coffee I went down to Backsand to re-hang the door on the "Photographic Hide". I arrived at there ~11.00 and there was very little on the scrape – just a few greenshank, green sands and a lone common sandpiper and no sign of the wood sands. The lack of wood sands wasn’t unexpected really as the SBBO ringers had been down there 2 nights ago and had caught and ringed 2 of them.
Anyway I fixed the door (well as well as it can be fixed given the angle to hide is leaning at) then sat around until 12.15 (high tide wasn’t until 2.45 or so things were not optimum). Greenshank and green sand numbers did increase marginally to 6 of each but only 1 common was seen and everything stayed on the far side of the scrape. The only wading bird to come close was a wading wood pigeon.
Wading Wood Pig

One greenshank was noodling around to the left but seem to have a fixation of the plastic Canada goose – whose presence can normally be relied on.
Just good friends

The nearest I came to excitement was when a sparrow hawk had an altercation with a kestrel. They chased each other around for 30 seconds or so until disappearing towards the cooling towers.
Kestrel and Sparrow hawk

And that was that.
If anyone out there is still desperate for a wood sandpiper there were still 2 on Restharrow first thing.

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