5th Oct. I took the opportunity to get down to St Mary’s and Seaton Sluice with Sam today so as to enjoy a day of sun before the weather takes its forecast downturn. It was a rare outing for me at the present time. At the start of our walk we noticed that some sea defence walling (I think) is being placed in South Bay.
We soon picked up at distance a number of offshore Little Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull was seen amongst the Black Headed Gulls on the rocks. The tide was reaching its highest point bringing in with it a number of Sandwich Terns and the odd Common Tern. Sea passage was sparse. We did have Red-throated Diver, Wigeon and Common Scoter along with Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill, Gannet and Eider Ducks. The wetland area was silent.
The walk to Seaton Sluice brought us little in the way of passerines although numbers of Rock Pipits were seen and wader numbers were high. The Golden Plovers looked at their best as the flock was in the air and occasionally lit by the sunlight. Other waders seen were Oystercatcher, Lapwing of which I had seen numbers in the fields as we approached the coast, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew. A number of Grey Seals showed their heads today.
Sam and I spent a bit of time at Seaton Sluice where the bird of the day was a migrating Wheatear which showed at length on the edge of the cliff until it decided chase of the Robin which had appeared to fly in off the sea. We spent sometime watching and listening to displaying Eider Ducks. I’m thinking that we’ll both be interested in the new Poyser monograph from Chris Waltho and John Coulson concerning the Common Eider Duck.
As the air began to warm up later in the day we decided to walk back to St Mary’s Island. The occasional butterfly was noted. It had been a quiet day but an enjoyable and relaxing one with good chat and bumping into fellow birdwatchers. I heard about the places available on a trip to Shetland going at I think £650 per head, targeting I seem to remember a Siberian Rubythroat! We decided to give that a miss and continue to watch the Eider Ducks instead.