There was plenty of year listing going on yesterday on the patch by visiting birders as the Shore Lark is still around and of course over here in the west there is no guarantee that we will get another one later in the year. I'm still not used to all these birders and I suppose to be frank I don't want to get used to them either, I like the patch to be nice and quiet. Call me unsociable perhaps, but that is how I like it. I was busy sea watching on my own at first light when suddenly six birders came an joined me; eek! I had to send Ian a text to say "when you get here mate come and rescue me"!
Later on when Ian and I were sea watching there was a similar pattern of behaviour amongst the visiting birders that would make me smile. As soon as they spotted us with scopes pointing seawards they would approach us and the usual introduction was "anything interesting out there mate"? When we replied with "no it's fairly quiet other than a few Scoters, Mergansers etc", they would all without fail then say "have you seen the Shore Lark yet this morning"?! Our reply was either "yes, earlier" or "no", depending on when they asked. When they realised we were locals they would then ask us about other year-listing targets in the area and whether we knew anything about them. We were only there for about an hour and a half because the
weather was shocking, but there must have been 40 - 50 birders around! Heaven knows what it will be like today (Sunday), so I'm keeping away and going ringing. More of that this evening.
The weather was awful as I have already hinted at and it never seemed to get light all morning with heavy grey skies and a stiff southwesterly wind. The sea was quiet with just four Red-breasted Mergansers, nine Eiders and four Shelducks. A male Stonechat and a female Sparrowhawk on the edge of the golf course was nice and the Shorelark pitched down right in front of us having being disturbed yet again by dog walkers and/or birders!
A quick look on the Marine Lakes revealed only 50 Turnstones and 150 Redshanks. One of our leg-flagged Turnstones was amongst the flock, but we could see only one which was interesting. We have been feeding them with the hope of another catch soon.
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