Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Seabirds and Waders

I started my first day of birding on my week off at Trevose Head hoping for some left over seabirds from yesterdays big storm ( I really wish I had yesterday off!) , the very first bird I saw was a Great Skua but the seawatch didn't really get going and although I had a nice list of species after 3 hours I was ready to go and have a look at the Camel Estuary as the tide was dropping and it would be the perfect time to check for waders...

Pale phase adult Arctic Skua ( 5 Arctic Skuas where seen this morning)

I walked down to the confluence of the two rivers and waited patiently for the tide to drop, a juvenile Marsh Harrier ( presumably the bird from last Saturday) was quartering the saltmarsh and flushing the waders as it went, so although it was making my life difficult to see the waders well, I wasn't about to complain at the presence of this stunning raptor. All in all the estuary was fairly quiet and the hoped for rarity from America didn't appear ( although a small Caladris wader which at times reminded me of Bairds Sandpiper was watched with a single Dunlin and two Turnstone but I couldn't be sure of the ID , hopefully I will see it again during the week, although it is probably just an odd Dunlin).

Marsh Harrier

Continuing in my search for an American wader I then went to Davidstow Airfield , I was surprised that no other birders where  up there checking it ( the only people up there where picking shrooms!) but to be honest it was pretty dire , not a single small wader to be seen , however a rather odd double act of a Ruff and a Bar-tailed Godwit ( scarce here) made for nice photography....

Bar-tailed Godwit & Ruff


My last stop of the day was a quick look at Walmsley Sanctuary for an hour or so , 2 late Swift's , 8 Cattle Egrets and a Ruff rounded off an enjoyable day nicely... Hopefully tomorrows storm will produce more interesting birds...

Todays counts: Trevose Head: 1 Black-headed Gull, 57 Kittiwake, 13 Great Skua, 5 Arctic Skua, 8 Sandwich Tern, 2 Arctic Tern, 8 Common Tern, 1 Grey Phalarope, 3 Dunlin, 1 Sooty Shearwater.
Camel Estuary: 3 Knot, 3 Turnstone, 2 Dunlin, 1 Whimbrel, 24 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 33 Redshank, 1 Marsh Harrier. Davidstow Airfield: 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Ruff, 4 White Wagtail. Walmsley Sanctuary: 8 Cattle Egret, 1 Greenshank, 1 Ruff, 2 Swift

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