I wanted to be at the Point by 0530 today so I could count the Sanderlings roosting at high tide on the shingle bank. At this time of year birds from the Mauritanian wintering population are passing through on their way to Greenland and they can be in quite large numbers. Although 0530 is a bit of a lie in as first light is a good hour before that, but after a few pints of real ale the night before 0530 is early enough!
Sure enough I was standing at the point by 0530 in the cold 15-20 mph northwesterly complete with woolly hat and gloves, so much for flaming June! And as expected there was a good number of Sanderlings roosting, 689 to be precise. At this time of year there isn't a great deal else roosting with the Sanderlings and this morning there were just a single Dunlin, 14 Ringed Plovers and two Turnstones.
Swallows and House Martins were still moving east and I had 22 and three of each respectively. For the first hour and a half there was some movement on the sea and if I had been here for first light there would probably have been a bit more. From the title of my post you will have guessed that Auks featured and I had 42 Auk sp. head east along with three Razorbills and five Guillemots. Other movements on the sea included a Fulmar east, 116 Common Scoters, six Sandwicch Terns, east, two Shelducks east, nine Gannets east, two Kittiwakes east and two Red-breasted Mergansers east.
After a couple of hours I headed over to the cemetery to see if I could find any late grounded migrants but I drew a complete blank. I did have a very confiding pair of Mistle Thrushes feeding three recently fledged young and of course my camera was in the car!
It's more nest boxes for me tomorrow again and a treat for Gail as my assistant!
Feeding frenzy - *When we were walking along Whitburn beach in Sunderland this afternoon I noticed a dense flock of about 150 black-headed gulls on the tid...
2 hours ago