Saturday 4 January 2014

Grotty Corner Black Red

I went back to Sandy Bay this afternoon, primarily for the gulls, but I was also keen to see how reliable yesterday's black redstart might be. I wasn't disappointed because it soon popped up and showed really well in what I now call the 'Grotty Corner', complete with an overflow pipe cascading a torrent of water down on to the beach. In the top photo you should be able to make out the bird on its favorite log perch, below an imposing set of warning signs! In this tiny area a number of other birds were present - a couple rock pipits, wren, robin, grey wagtail and 2 pied wagtails - all very nice.

Offshore were 3 great crested grebe and 1 guillemot. There was still a reasonable gathering of large gulls and the 2 female eider were visible distantly off Orcombe Point. Highlight of the day though was captured in the photos below - made me chuckle!


  1. That's brilliant!!!! I guess you knew it was going to happen - unless you have a habit of taking photos of random people!

    Your top Pipit looks nice and pale (unless its over exposed), probably what some would call a littoralis-type? (but not me, I think both sub sp are far too variable)

  2. Hi Steve - No I don't photograph random people - it was so predictable, I just couldn't believe he couldn't see it coming! He got utterly soaked twice whilst I was watching! The pipit photos are all of the same bird so yes the top one is over exposed. Its amazing how the colour tones vary with light too.

  3. Hope you managed a video of that Matt! That would get you £250 off YHBF for sure. ;-)

  4. Matt, I went there this morning and thoroughly grilled 'Grotty Corner' and it definitely wasn't there then! I was there 2 hours and had all the other supporting birds + one extra Robin. Maybe it goes up on to the top at high tide.

  5. Hi Andrew - sorry no video footage!
    Terry - sorry you didn't see it. It does seem to range along the cliff towards Straight Point and I suspect it's more likely when the sun's hitting that corner.