Saturday, January 5, 2008

January 5th 2008

This is just a personal record of birds seen down at the mudflats at La Santa while walking my dog. Yesterday again a grey and blustery day, four five or six grey plover huddled against back rocks, immobile little plovers all over the rocks. Otherwise, egret, whimbrel much as usual - and the one stray turnstone again. About five- six hours after high tide.

Today sunny and much earlier. Terns were sitting further in, close to where the plovers go: plovers were out on the sand feeding everywhere, grey plover ditto. Nothing feeding on samphire, too late probably (3 hours after high tide.) But there were three birds sitting on the rock near me, sunning themselves. Same birds as have puzzled me feeding. No doubt what they were this time; had book with me, they were still, could get better look at beaks, legs etc. Definitely dunlin, definitely same birds as have been feeding here all this season. According to the Birds of Atlantic islands they are common on passage but do not winter here. Not so. My being unable to identify them due to way they keep their beaks buried when feeding; couldn't see downcurve at tip.

No greenshank again. No heron though it's been out two or 3 times this week.

Have at different times here seen knots (call unmistakeable) sanderlings, a curlew sandpiper (pretty sure - beak hard to mistake, possibly two - and, on passage in August, a stilt sandpiper - long legs, curved beak hopping round near me fearlessly. What else? Oh and a lapwing. And some black ducks. (Scoter?) So, usual suspects mostly. But some nice surprises.

Last spring there was a purple heron.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

January 3rd. Low Water. 16.30.

Tide on the turn at 16.45. Birds as expected. 2 or 3 whimbrels, 3 or 4 grey plovers, 2 or 3 egrets. The greenshank that has taken up residence this winter was out feeding in the pools. No sign of small ?sandpipers of some kind I couldn't identify yesterday, but usual scads of Kentish Plovers and Little Ringed plovers, some feeding, most just sitting on the rock the way they do, waiting. A lone turnstone was ferretting on the rocks. The usual gang of terns was on the rocks farthest out. That was much as expected for low water here. The best time is when the tide's on its way out.