Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Backsand 23/24th July.

The last 2 days have followed the same routine – a tour of the local SBBO recording area then down to Backsand for the high tide (15.40 on the 24th).
The tours of the SBBO area produced little of interest other than 3 brown hawkers (23rd) and 23 dunlin on the beach (again 23rd).
Brown hawker


The gull in the background was a pain in the proverial. The dunlin were making there way fown the beach towards me but everytime a dunlion found a worm he tried to take it. In the end they gave up and flew off.
On both days Backsand held a few ducks – a family of mallards and of tufties, plus 2 little grebes, 40-odd grey lags plus common and green sand pipers and greenshanks.
Green sandpiper cooling off

Common sand plus small worm

Little grebe

On both days the pattern was the same – a few green and common sands present when I arrived an hour before high tide with the numbers growing as high tide approached – final numbers being common sandpiper 6 and 5; green sandpiper 8 and 10 and greenshank 11 and 9.
On the 23rd both green and common sand spent a lot of time in front of the hide but on the 24th they kept their distance and only the occasional common sand came across the front.
On both days the common sands were very mobile calling and displaying to each other:

Common sandpiper displaying

This increased shyness  may have been due to ringing activity as the ringers had an overnight session at there on Monday night. Interestingly one of the birds they caught was ringed at Backsand last year showing that some at least frequent the same haunts.
Today a little ringed plover turned up but it was also shy not coming close enough for a decent picture.
Little ringed plover
On both days the greenshanks were a huge disappointment in that they slept the whole time – not one went looking for food and redshanks were completely absent.
Water levels are very low (excessive pumping) and there’s a real chance it could be virtually dry if we have a prolonged hot period..............I hate to say it but it could do with a few inches of rain!

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