Friday, 23 September 2011

Dancing with the Devil

Today we visited the venue which often seems the windiest place in the county. The forecast said the winds wouldn't exceed 12 mph, but in the morning it felt a lot stronger than that! There weren't any fishermen to guard the cars, so to avoid a repeat of the attempted break-in of last week we shifted to the reserve car park. It's not a great site for getting close-up photographs of most of the wildlife, so the Turnstone (pm), Ringed Plover, Meadow Pipits, Golden Plovers, Dunlin, Shelduck, Curlew, Gannets & most other wildlife remained un-photographed. One of the highlights of the morning were 7 Yellow Wagtails and a Wheatear on a grassy car park. These were harder to see in the afternoon as the car park was a lot busier & the birds were disturbed by a slow walking obese couple who refused to pay the entrance costs of the 'attraction' they had come to visit.

The tide didn't reach the high tide mark before the conclusion of the afternoon class, so most of the waders remained distant, although a pretty reliable stream of Golden Plovers swept over our heads on & off during the day, with an occasional flock of Dunlin or Ringed Plovers. I'm going to have to ensure that next year we visit on a day when the high tide is around lunch tiome, so both am & pm classes can benefit from the birds brought in by higher water levels.

The find of the day was probably the Devil's Coach-Horse, which was new to every morning participant, although most reference works describe it as common. We saw 2 of these at Tophill Low last week, but no one had a camera on that particular occasion. When the 'Cocktail' originally raised its tail it had a white substance either side of the underside of the tail, but this doesn't appear in any of the photographs taken - maybe next time!

Devil's Coach-Horse
Sometimes called Cocktail for some reason!
Devil's Coach-Horse
Record Shot of Wheatear
Yellow Wagtail
Bar-tailed Godwits

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