Thursday, July 23, 2015
Rusty red and the mud hoppers.
My route to and from work drives right past a nice, medium sized, Northumberland estuary. Complete with mini mudflats and saltmarsh, the river Coquet at Amble is an excellent spot for migrating waders. Best of all, not having any hides, it hardly gets a look at by birders compared to the Druridge Bay reserves only a few miles south.
For me, this is its main attraction. You don't have to put up with 'birders' saying 'is the blackwit showing' or queues of cars waiting for the Barn owl to be papped a millionth time.
Right enough of that. Yesterday and this evening, on my way back from work I stopped for a quick scan of the mud for new arrivals. I've promised myself a White rumped Sand on here this year, even though its not strictly 'my' patch. I visit here with John regularly on a Sunday as he is doing a low key year list on the site. As he is busy elsewhere this week, I feel obliged to check the area on his behalf.
Last night there was a nice party of Dunlin, 40+ at least, all sporting neat black bellies and 11+ Common Sandpipers. Not earth shattering, for sure, but promising.
Tonight I only had about 20 minutes to spare, but straight away I could see the numbers had increased as the tide shuffled the birds backwards. Dunlin had upped to 80+ and a tidy Black tailed Godwit brightened things up. A very distant little wader scuttled through the Dunlin in a stint-like fashion so I left the car and walked a good 100 yards closer for a better look. No sign of anything resembling a stint, but Bingo! a lovely breeding plumaged Curlew Sandpiper stood heads above the Dunlin on the opposite shore. Occasionally the flock would lift and do a 'murmuration' around the edge before pitching in again. One stop had Common Sand, Curlew Sand, Dunlin, Redshank and Black tailed Godwit all in a line. Nice.
So, no sign of any peeps this evening but the one from arctic Russia was just as pleasing. Lets hope there are more nice waders over the coming weeks.