Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pretend iwepts aug 2012

Last Saturday I met up with Jim Bowman.

No, not Jim Bowen
Jim Bowman.
Super, smashing, great all the same.

We decided we'd take a look at what was around Bull (seye one hundred and eeeeeeighhhty) island pre migration season.

High tide was 1pm (4m), so we met at 10.30am to give us a few hours to get to grips with what was around.

I was amazed that there wasn't a single oystercatcher north of the causeway. Usually, due to my poor wader id skills, I volunteer to count the 1000's of oycs in this area, so to see none was a real eye opener, it made me realise how full on migration to the Bull actually is.
We didn't see any Knot (that's up for discussion), no Teal (though I know Ger saw some a few weeks ago), no Brent, no Wigeon, no Pintails, 34 Shelduck, no Bartailed godwits, but 150ish blacktailed north of the causeway. 1 Dunlin.

150 Blacktailed godwits, Bull island, Aug 18th 2012.

points for the Dunlin and the Mystery bird.

Dunlin bottom left, Mystery bird top.

When we saw it fly off we saw it had seemed to have black legs, Knots have yellowy legs. The species of this bird is probably very obvious to lots of people looking at this photo, and I think it's probably a Knot, but who knows.

We saw at least 14 Little Egrets on the Bull. 46 were seen today (21 Aug) according to the Bull island website.

Black tailed godwit in summer plumage, Bull Island, Aug 18th 2012.

First Curlew I'd seen for months.

2nd Curlew? Much shorter bill.

Much shorter bill and obvious markings on the head. My first ever Whimbrel. There have been large numbers of Whimbrel on the Bull over the last few months, I think I saw 50 listed at one point. There was only 1 that I saw. Actually I've just looked at Tom's Bull island website and he saw 64 Whimbrel yesterday!

My one and only Whimbrel, a bird I've scanned and scanned for over the years.

South of the Causeway Jim was able to initially id, then differentiate 25 Grey plovers from 400 Golden plovers. I wouldn't have known they were plovers, I was glad he was around.
Neither would I have been confident to know that the flock of 150 godwits was only made up of Black tailed with no Bar tailed there.
I got the Lapwing though, 30 and Redshank, 500. Then my old friends the Oycs, 700 of them hanging out southside.
By midday the tide had already risen to cover all the previously exposed mud.
So although high tide wasn't until 1pm, by midday most the waders had disappeared into the saltmarshes, hidden from view.

A great morning, thanks to Jim for making it out.