Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tuesday 5th December

After a week of very poor tides, this week is slightly better, so I went early to the roost site to set up a hide on what I hoped would be the high tide mark.

I decided to experiment by using part of my kids' play tent as a portable hide (thanks kids!). In the end it proved a futile exercise, as the tide arrived before the birds did, and I was forced into a hasty retreat! I had misjudged the high water mark by about 2 feet, but it would have been enough to get wet had I stayed.

The Coffin Mk VII

It was fun watching the fiddler crabs waving at each other while I waited for the waders. They seemed to be saying, "Just come over 'ere and say that!"

There were so few birds at the roost today that the chances of getting pictures were not good anyway. I made a few estimates:

Red-necked Stint 40
Sanderling 1 1st w bird -still there
Common Redshank 200
Common Greenshank 12
Common Sandpiper 4
Whimbrel 8
Pacific Golden Plover 20
Greater Sand Plover 3
Lesser Sand Plover 10
Kentish Plover 22
Little Ringed Plover 4

Noteworthy were the highest totals so far for both Kentish at the site. Amazingly, Kentish was the commonest plover there!

I did manage to approach a flock of three Little Ringed Plovers by using the car. I judged them to be 2 1st winters and an adult winter bird.

This is one of the 1st winter birds. Note the buffy-brown forehead and lack of clear supercilium.

Here's the adult bird, which has a whiter forehead and more marked, cleaner supercilium. This bird is also showing the relative plain wing pattern distinctive of this species.

The other 1st winter bird, taken just before I managed to get the car stuck in the mud! No doubt the birds had the last laugh.

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