Wednesday 8 January 2014

Purple Sand influx!

It seems reasonable to assume that all the rough weather and associated big tides account for the additional purple sandpipers on Maer Rocks this evening. I counted at least eight with about fifteen turnstones. Counting the birds is really difficult on Maer Rocks because the birds spend the majority of time on the edge of the rocks, down and out of view. I think there is a very good chance there are more present. My highest count before now has been five back in November 2011 and the most I've seen this winter has been three. Maer Rocks is not a regular wintering site. I saw none in the winter of 2012/13 and before November 2011 I had never seen purple sandpiper there although there are old records going back about 20 years.
Yesterday after work I disturbed a grey-looking chiffchaff from a fuschia bush right beside our front door. I saw it briefly in flight across our next door neighbour's garden and very briefly in our back garden just before dark. I think there's a good chance it's a tristis-type but obviously need proper views. The wind was keeping it low and flighty.

1 comment:

  1. I used to get Purple Sands on Maer Rocks a bit more regularly over 20 years ago Matt. I also had them at Orcombe Rocks and the mouth of the Otter most winters! I think there is too much disturbance nowadays for these birds. The Maer birds, as you say, are always teetering on the brink of falling into the sea, about the only place where human and canine disturbance doesn't seem to reach! Best of luck with the Chiff - tomorrow looks like a good day!