Monday, 29 December 2008

No Purple Sands Yet, 29th December 2008

This morning I had a very chilly birding session at Rossall Point. The wind was coming from the southeast and it was bitterly cold. I was very grateful for the fact that I was wearing what I call my 'winter sea watching pants' as they are fleece lined and very warm. In fact I shall be wearing them when out birding tomorrow. It was very much a case of the right trousers today.

It was low tide when I arrived at Rossall and quite a few waders were feeding out on the shore or on the shingle and included 41 Turnstones, 27 Redshanks, 17 Grey Plovers, 391 Oystercatchers, 1,403 Sanderlings, 500 Dunlin and 21 Ringed Plover. The group of 500 Dunlin were my largest flock for some time and these flew very quickly east with some Sanderling.

It was obvious that the numbers of Eiders had increased and this morning I counted 132 'bobbing' on the sea. A flock of 10 passing Common Scoters were attracted to them and they dropped in with the Eiders for a few minutes before continuing west. Three Red-throated Divers were about as were 9 Red-breasted Mergansers, single Great Crested Grebe and Razorbill. Two Teal looked odd, as they always do, when they flew in and landed on the sea.

The usual flock of Linnet were feeding amongst the tidal debris and today they numbered 11. I then went to the Marine Lakes when the tide was in to see if I could get a roosting Purple Sandpiper with the Redshank and Turnstone on the island. I counted 161 Turnstone and 118 Redshank, but no Purple Sandpiper. Below is a photograph of the Redshank and Turnstone roosting on the island.

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