Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Get Knotted

Red Knot (allegedly) in the mist
Almost like a painting!
 Still misty, but closer to the hide
This morning I thought I’d check out the high tide roost at Spurn Point.  After a very bright start it had clouded over by 8am, and then less than halfway to Spurn a sea mist rolled in.  The mist was still in place when I reached Chalk Bank hide over an hour before high tide was due.  The mist was quite thick, but I could make out that there were a couple of thousand Knot, and smaller amount of Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Bar-tailed Godwits, Redshank, Curlew.  There were a couple of Sanderling some with remnants of summer plumage, and at least a single Black-tailed Godwit.  On the far sand bank there seemed to be a mass of Oystercatchers, Herring Gulls and a few Cormorants, but these were difficult to see through the mist.
 A pair of Knot coming in to land
 Knot on the beach (with Dunlin in Foreground)
 Lining up to land
(Red) Bar-tailed Godwit - all alone
 Bar-tailked Godwit - still stands out in a crowd
 Bar-tailed Godwit (non-breeding plumage) with Dunlin
Over an hour and a half the mist came and went before rolling back completely.  At first I had sole occupation of the hide, but half an hour before high tide a Cambridgeshire couple came in for there first ever visit to Spurn.  They are used to thousands of Knot at Snettisham at the end of August, but were pleased to see so many in summer plumage in July.  As the tide began to go out 4 less-experienced birdwatchers squeezed in & once I’d made the most of the photography opportunities I took my leave. 
Grey Plover in flight
 Grey Plover landing - note diagnostic black 'wing' pits
 'Silver' Plover - near enough to see the gleam in its eye
 Grey Plover in non-breeding plumage
 Dunlin (left) Behind a Redshank
 Curlew (right) with Dunlin & Bar-tailed Godwit
 Sanderling (3rd from right) note white belly, slightly larger size & shorter bill
On the way out there were a few wary waders by the side of the road, but I was only able to snatch a few pictures of Turnstones.  There was very few birds of interest at canal Scrape.  I took so many pictures of the waders at Chalk Bank that my camera card was full for the first time ever, so it was time to delete some out of focus flight shots, as I waited to see if anything turned up at canal Scrape.  The whole of the afternoon was taken up with processing the wader pictures.  I should have just junked those taken in fog!


northernloon said...

Some cracking pictures there Michael. Beats our trip to Wykeham into a cocked hat

Michael Flowers said...

Cheers. I'm afraid Wykeham has blotted its copy book too many times for me this year. I won't be taking my classes back there. It's too far & is too much of a gamble