Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Oyks Galore

Before the babysitting I grabbed a few hours birding at Knott End this morning with the highlights being a high-for-August count of Oystercatchers followed by a smattering of newly arrived Willow Warblers deposited by last night’s thunder and lightning. 

As the tide came in and filled the mussel beds the waders split in different directions, when 1100 Oystercatchers stayed roosting on the beach with about 40 Curlew and just 2 Shelduck and an increase to 14 Eider and 9 Cormorant. When the tide filled 8 Sandwich Terns arrived, choosing not to stay around but instead heading up-river in a southerly direction. There was also a steady but small movement of Swallows in the same direction, about 30 in two hours. 


More than 110 Redshanks flew out of sight, upstream towards Arm Hill and when I walked alongside the golf course to the sailing jetty I found 4 Common Sandpipers, a single Turnstone and 2 Grey Heron. The golf course held 3 Pied Wagtail, 2 Greenfinch, 15 Linnet and 4 Goldfinch and 2 calling Willow Warblers - Later on at home I was to see a Willow Warbler in the garden with a small flock of Long-tailed Tits, and looking on a few web sites and blogs I see a number of other sightings of Willow Warblers this morning. 

Willow Warbler

Common Sandpiper

In the car park at Knott End I noticed a Lesser Black-backed Gull, one of the regulars which targets car arrivals hoping for hand-outs and leftovers, but when I looked closer it had the remains of beach or landfill detritus firmly wrapped around its bill. Nothing much to do for the animal except think that it seemed in good condition and had arrived looking for another meal despite the handicap inflicted upon it by the human race.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull 
Another quiet day so let’s hope thing pick up soon on Another Bird Blog. Tomorrow’s forecast is “a bright morning, followed by rain from midday”. We’ll see, but in the meantime I changed the header to a Spotted Flycatcher to bring more luck,.so thanks to all those who enjoyed the Bee Eaters.


mick said...

That's a huge number of Oystercatchers. We sometimes see as many as 30-40 and think that's a lot! All great photos.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I wish we had the same variety here in Louisiana. I'm extremely lucky to see anything beyond the common sparrow, cardinal or blue jay. Maybe I need to expand my parameters a bit! These are absolutely lovely shots. Kudos!

Adam Jones said...

I leave the Common Sandpiper.

eileeninmd said...

Amazing numbers of Oystercatchers. I guess that is a good thing, it means they are doing well? The Willow Warbler is a pretty bird and you got some great shots of the gulls. Great post, Phil!

Rohrerbot said...

Yeah those Bee eaters were amazing:) I am planning a water trip next year to the southern tip of Argentina for penguin shots. Waterbirds are some of the most amazing things to see along the shorelines....plus I like the cool breezy conditions to watch them:) The area looks like a great place to be outdoors doing photography and birding:)

Brian King said...

Beautiful photos! I particularly like the oystercatcher and gull!

Russell said...

Unbelievable number of oystercatchers. (but I believe you) Really super collection of photographs especially the warbler and the header is really super. Not bad for a quiet day!

Kay L. Davies said...

I've always loved gulls, and a more recent favourite is the Oystercatcher. "Oyk" is a great abbreviation!
My husband is going out with local naturalists on Saturday, to see if he might like to take up birding or some such as a hobby if his health forces him to retire. I think he'll enjoy it, but I really can't imagine him retiring.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonitas capturas.Saludos

Anni said...

Great photos Phil!!! I so loved reading about the number of oystercatchers...amazing #!! The closeup portrait of the gull is my favorite this week.

Thanks for linking up at the Bird D'Pot!!

Gowri Saligram said...

Nice post, lovely photos of all the birds.

Stewart M said...

What a splendidly robust bird the Oyk is! We have tow species down here - a pied and an all all black one. I've been lucky enough to band both - they are very noisy in the nets!

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

PS: if you could add a link back to WBW on the pages you link up that would be great, it allows you readers to find the page. SM

Mary Howell Cromer said...

All are splendid, your new banner/ header image is truly remarkable, such clarity Phil. I love it. Yes, mankind is certainly a lazy bunch and many just don't think, they do not care!
The Gull you showed to us, is just one, so many others suffer, because of our mistakes. I watched in horror one day in Florida, when a gull flew away with a set of six pack rings around it's throat...enough said, Love your images!

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