Sunday, 9 February 2014

Purple Haze

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don't seem the same
Actin' funny, but I don't know why
'Scuse me while I kiss the sky
Courtesy of Jimi Hendrix

9th Feb.  Sam and I were met by a high tide and a male Bullfinch as we set off from Brierdene today just as the light shower of rain ended.  We found our first of the year Lesser Black Backed Gull amongst a mixed flock of gulls along with a flock of sixty plus Turnstones and a sizable flock of Starlings.  There was little else apart from dogs and more dogs before we approached St Mary’s Island.

The rocks south of the island provided sightings of twelve plus Purple Sandpipers, but few other waders were present until the tide began to lower.  A Rock Pipit called as it flew over our heads.

As the tide receded we found any photography difficult because of the crowded area.  If only we could have people banned from this area!  We retreated to the wetland where we found only a single Robin feeding on piles of apples laid out on the feeders.  I felt sure that this Robin was going to be one of the best fed birds in the UK.  Teal were on the water along with Coots and Sam heard a Skylark.

By the time we returned to the shore there were far more waders to be seen including Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Sanderling, Turnstone, Redshank and Curlew, along with the Purple Sandpipers and Sam had a bit more of an opportunity for photography, although by now the cool wind was really getting up.  The sun did break through however, just as the forecast I had seen had suggested it would.

We walked to Seaton Sluice stopping in a semi-sheltered spot along the way for lunch during which we spotted the flocks of Golden Plover flying over the fields.  The sea provided little other than gulls, including Kittiwakes, Cormorants, Eider and Common Scoter.  Guillemot and Razorbill were seen later from Seaton Sluice.

More Purple Sandpipers (seven) were seen at Seaton Sluice (possible some of the same ones seen earlier which may have moved with the changing tide) and Knot was also added to the wader list here.  I’d forgotten to add Meadow Pipit seen at Druridge to my year list so the single bird seen today was also a new one for the list.

As we made for home the sea looked grey, but the area looked calm.  It hadn’t felt calm as we had stood in the wind and yes today my gloves were put on.  Just seen the forecast and it looks like some cold air and rain/snow is on the way.  Hopefully the worst will be over before next weekend’s outing!   A good purple day today.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah now I've also had to hunt out the old gloves unfortunately, lol. At present, the snow is only forecast for one night midweek. Fingers crossed that will be as bad as it gets!