Saturday 17 January 2015

Purple Sand Increase

Five juvenile and two adult Dark-bellied Brent Geese - Maer Rocks.
It's been a very busy and tiring week. Yesterday evening was the first chance I had to get out, albeit for about half an hour only. I bumped into Terry Smith who'd just been watching the bonaparte's gull, and before long we picked it out stood on a strip of sand off Shelly Beach, resting as the sun set. I also picked up a fly-by second winter mediterranean gull and at least four great crested grebes were knocking around.
This morning I did a dawn check of Maer Rocks, and was pleased to find at least 9 purple sandpipers in a single flock. I gave up trying to photograph them after about ten minutes as I couldn't feel my fingers, such was the cold. Also there were 4+ turnstone, several brent geese and a fly-past red-throated diver. Next I had a quick look off the Sailing Club/Shelly Beach, where I joined Nick, searching for the bonaparte's gull. It flew past us at around 0850, stalling briefly before heading towards the river mouth and out of sight.
This afternoon we had a family dog walk on Woodbury Common. It was typically fairly quiet (being massively over-disturbed) but I picked up at least 3 reed buntings on our route round, and there must have been 2/300+ chaffinch feeding on beech masts around the fort.

One of the 9+ Purple Sandpipers present on Maer Rocks early morning.

Reed Bunting - Woodbury Common.

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