Thursday, 24 March 2011

A purple patch

We're blessed with another lovely day, made even better because I'd taken it off as a holiday. Somehow I found myself at Foreness, but was soon cursing the lack of waders again, as well as the probable cause (dog walkers). Even the gulls had found a better occupation.

I was gazing glumly at the last rocks to be covered by the rising tide, watching a few turnstones dibbling about, when a flock of 15 purple sandpipers flew in. Some promptly tucked their head under their wing, but the waves soon woke them up. They stayed as the last of the rocks were submerged, then flew off for somewhere drier.Counts of purple sandpipers have reached over 50 at times over the past few years, but reports have been few this year. Birds of Kent reports that their numbers increased from none in the early 1950s to a maximum of 106 in 1977, the last year of its records. Perhaps a Thanet birder has more recent trend records?

A flock of 50 Brent geese grazed close in to the shore, and a Wheatear was on the putting green, their favourite resting place.

Back in Kingsdown, I pounded the beat but saw little. Each time I walk past a stand of pine trees I check them for crossbills, and today I thought I might be in luck, but it was just a few two-barred chaffinches.


Warren Baker said...

I get lots of those two barred Chaffinch's Steve, they pose as most birds :-)

Greenie said...

Steve ,
You sure that wasn't a 'sicky'?
Nice shots of the Purple Sands .
Didn't realise Wheatears play golf !