Friday, 4 October 2013

Back at the northern coast

The Safari has received news of the ringed Mediterranean Gull CR photographed at the nature reserve  last week.
It has an interesting history being ringed as a pullus (chick) on the French channel coast late June 2006
It was next seen the following early May on the French Atlantic coast in the Vendee, at a site that CR has actually visited on one of his regular holidays to that part of France!
3 1/2 moths later it turns up on our northern estuary and is seen every day for a week.
Then it's not seen for a year before being refound in the same place by the same birder! Not only that it is then not seen for six months but again returns to be refound by the same birder again!
It is seen once more in that winter period before disappearing again to return in mid July '12. There were no sightings in August but two in September.
Once more it disappears for the best part of a year returning to be found by the same birder again - we can vouch that he isn't the only person to go birding there - in August of this year when he sees it twice. It does another disappearing act until CR photographed it a full month later at the nature reserve, a new site for it...where will it be next and who will record it? It's now seven years old, how many more years does it have ahead of it we wonder.
This morning we had another mooch round Patch 1. From the off we had Meadow Pipit passage and still being unable to write in the notebook in the field had to keep a mental tally going which ended up around the 200 mark. A Mistle Thrush and three Greenfinches were the only other migrants traveling with them.
Late morning CR called and we set off for the coast where we had been yesterday in the hope of no beach cleaners and undisturbed waders. When we arrived we spotted LGB again and he put us straight on to to a passing dark morph Arctic Skua - a good way to start the session!
We weren't disturbed by beach cleaners today - something far worse - rain. All the forecasts had suggested the early rain clearing leaving sunny intervals and as we left Base Camp that early rain had passed over and it looked much brighter...but no, the weather had other ideas and gave us a good soaking.
It made photography difficult as it was really murky too. A few Wheatears dropped out of the murk, at least three possibly five and LGB had had one earlier too. 
 Several small flocks of Meadow Pipits also dropped in.
 But really it was the waders we'd come to see but we struggled to get near them, there was just enough disturbance to keep them out of range and when at last the disturbance eased off the tide had ebbed and they were down the shingle bank and approaching them would have necessitated crawling like a seal...not an option on the rain drenched shingle.
we did our best for these record shots of Ringed Plovers but couldn't get any pics of the numerous Sanderlings, Dunlin and Turnstones.
As we were leaving a Linnet from the local flock landed near us and started pecking at the shingle vegetation.
 Seems a little out of context for this usually thought of as a farmland species.
Despite being wet it was very mild and muggy, felt almost tropical at times, there were several butterflies on the wing including Small White, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral, and on the walk back to Base Camp from the shops on the way home a Peacock.
Last night we got a probable ID of our mangled moth from Young Un JS who suggested Pale Mottled Willow - it looks a good shout.
Also last night after the rain started we went  to let Frank outside and heard a Frog croaking from the pond - in October...weird!
Where to next? Not at all sure what the weekend will hold but we could be out on Patch 1 again in the morning or maybe we'll try the bridge on the NBPT  if there's some vis mig happening, it should be just about walkable in our recuperating state.
In the meantime let us know how good the weather forecasters are in your outback.

1 comment:

cliff said...

Excellent information re. the Med Gull Dave, knowing the birds history adds a lot of interest to the sighting.

Love the Wheatear photo on the post, that's better than 'owt I managed.