News archive

January 2015

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Winters wonderful wader extravaganza!

The cold wind blowing off the sea made bird watching very difficult - it's hard focusing binoculars / telescopes when you can't even feel your fingers ! But the discomfort was worth it with the sight (and sound) of hundreds of waders jostling on the waters edge for space to rest. Large numbers of Dunlin fed incessantly on mud, dashing here and there for the odd morsel. Rather surprisingly the 50 or so Sanderling, usually equally as active, seemed to spend more time sheltering from the strong wind than feeding. Even more statuesque were the Curlew, Oystercatcher and Grey Plover (1 bird in almost full summer striking plumage) who spent most of their time resting. Very few Knot and Redshank were seen (surprising considering that in previous weeks thousands of birds had been present) but large flocks of waders could be seen flying around Middle Eye, so perhaps they were there? Plenty of Cormorant either in the sea or on the tide line with a small number of Common Scoter and a single Red Throated Diver off shore. Black headed and Common Gulls existed in mixed flocks allowing comparison of the two species. Although many times the flocks of waders took to the sky, performing aerial acrobatics that would have made the famous Red Arrows proud, only once did a momentary glimpse of a Peregrine occur. We had a great few hours birding - if only it had been a little warmer !