Sunday morning and off to Big Waters with John A for a look at the Turtle Dove. We
had intended to head down South but a combination of the weather and a Turtle Dove
changed our minds. Got there for 7 and there was already a car there then within a minute
another car arrived and expecting to see some birders alight was suprised when the occupant
of the 2nd car, a lady, got into the front seat of the first car, next to a male. Then within the next
minutes another 2 cars arrived and a couple of people walked down the path. Now I have
been coming to Big W for a few years and this was its equivalent of Piccadilly Circus with
only John and myself interested in Birds, of the feathered variety. Too many people around and no
site of the Dove so we headed for the hide. There was plenty to see and below is just a quick
snapshot out of the North looking window.
We passed a pleasant hour with John B and Charlie, watched the Otter cause havoc on the pond, then
the Sparrowhawk tear through the Feeding Station. Also overhead heading Westerly were
10 Curlews calling as they went. A Kingfisher also put in an appearance but just sat on a distant
perch. The light was getting a bit better so we thought it was time for a wander and a further
hunt for the Turtle Dove. We bumped into Keith B on the way and off we went to try and
find it. There were about half a dozen people there but only one had seen it before it shot
of after a plane flew over. We split up but it only took about 10mins before I found it not
to distant from where it was perched the day before. Took a couple of distant shots again
but didnt want to get too close and disturb it.
This pic courtesy of Keith Bradley is the original one taken when found the previous evening.
John and I after a good hour headed off to St Marys hoping that the bad weather might
be keeping away the general public, unfortunately there is some people as idiotic as us
and the place, whilst not packed, was not what I call empty. On the North Bay 2 females
with 4 dogs ensured that nothing much was feeding although a Bar Tailed Godwith and a
Curlew did venture onto their normal spots on the Beach but didn't stay too long
On the promenade there was lots of birds including a few hundred Golden Plover which
never stopped landing and taking off after a minute or so then breaking off ito individual
groups, dispersing then rejoining. The sun did break out infrequently giving us quick
glimpses of the magnificent colouring of these birds. A Sparrowhawk flying along the edge
of the seashore had just about everything up with wings apart from a couple of Great Black
Backs who just looked around contemptously.
From the lighthouse we did spot several Common Scoter, a couple of Guillemots and Razorbills
with quite a few unidentifed (too lazy to carry scope and tripod) birds in the distance. We did go
down to the Haven for a looksee but alas no YBW came out to put us in their Bloggers seen list.