Sunday, 1 December 2013

A Purple Day

Saturday morning and armed with a key (thanks to to Jo) John and I headed to Seaton Sluice to try our hands at the Black Art of VisMig (Seawatching).  We were the first ones there but the winds hadn't been as  forthcoming as the Met Office had promised so with only a few Curlews, a couple of Gannets and some Eiders it was quite quiet.  Then within 30mins there was another 3 watchers, still not a great lot but Teal, Shelduck, Scoter, Diver, Eider and more Curlew were seen (by them).  John then I a few minutes later left the experts to sit in a bit of comfort and do some serious counting whilst we went out to look at the pretty "Seagulls".  We actually did pick up Scoter, Eider, Shelduck, Gannets and some distant dots from outside but we soon left for St Marys to see what was around there.  We immediately went down the steps onto the beach where there was more dogs than birds but eventually there was a break in the phalanx of advancing dogs which let the Sanderling, Redshanks, Turnstones, Rock Pipits and Pied Wagtails entertain us for a bit.  The enjoyment was halted when once again a couple of dogs came charging across the sand and immediately started jumping up at me.  I told the owner what I thought but I was wasting my time as he told me they were only puppies and wouldn't hurt me.  John was a bit more subtle as the dogs ran around the place and the owner was screaming for them, saying something like "there still not listening, are they".

We then headed over to the North Bay where there was a lot more birds including 6 Purple Sandpipers, a couple of Dunlin, lots of Sanderling, Turnstones, Redshanks, quite a few Gulls and a couple of Curlew.  These kept John and I entertained for well over an hour.  We then headed back and bumped into Simon P, we compared notes and Simon shot off to count the Purple Sandpipers as them and the dozen we could see from the promontory would constitute a record patch tick.  We then were put onto a couple of Knot and Simon picked up on a 2nd year Med Gull about 30m away.  We chatted for a while then wandered off to the car spotting a Stonechat in the Wetlands on the way.  A quick 15mins at the Fish Quay to check for white wingers, unsuccessful but the chips were lovely then off home to do a couple of chores for Carole.

Here are a couple of photos from the day

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