A week or two ago I paid another visit to St Marys Island, or more precisely the coastline nearby. The tide prevented crossing to the island itself so instead much of our time was spent watching the waders and chatting to some familiar faces and some faces not known, but no less friendly for that. One of the strangers was an American lady visiting from Edinburgh with her family. It reminded me just how much that the American term shorebird is so much more evocative and descriptive than the term wader. I was also reminded of just how many passing folk have no idea of the species of bird that they are watching, although many were watching quite intently so that is a positive in itself. Positive too, was the interest shown by so many when given information about the birds, and so many did come and ask.
It was the Golden Plovers that really took the eye that day. Our seasons may be getting more difficult to differentiate but you can be sure it’s autumn when the flock of Golden Plover begin to increase.
I was also mindful whilst watching that this area surrounding St Mary’s Island is an area where I first began to watch birds intently, where perhaps I saw my first Golden Plovers and certainly saw my first Purple Sandpipers and Roseate Terns. It’s always good to remember that all those who watch birds keenly, began as novices and in that respect all are more likely to show more respect to those wishing to learn. It’s always good too to remember that your learning never ends.
There wasn’t much sea passage on that particular day although we did record flocks of Teal, Wigeon and a number of Red-throated Divers. Incidentally I prefer the American term loon for divers too.