Sunday 8 September 2013

White-rumped Sandpiper at Davidstow

On Saturday, Colin Selway found a moulting adult White-rumped Sandpiper with Dunlins and Ringed Plovers at Davidstow disused runway.  I decided to take a look today and fairly soon found several birders looking at it.  My mate Bob Bosisito and Pete Rosevear were also there and they informed me they had also seen a Baird's Sandpiper there on Saturday as well.  Both are superb finds and obviously turned up during the torrential rain over the weekend.  For some reason, all the waders seem to be feeding in the middle grass areas and not on the runway edges, so are some distance for viewing and indeed finding.  Among the Dunlins is a small, relatively pale Dunlin as well as the White-rumped, plus another small calidrid which I just couldn't pin down properly.  I've seen at least nine Bairds previously but White-rumped Sandpiper is decidedly rare in Cornwall.  From memory this is only my third.

Juv Dunlin also taken today for comparison.  Note the extensive dark mottling on the belly and flanks.

All images taken with Nikon D7100, 600mm F4 from car window. All images cropped to an inch of their life and reduced in size.

Friday 6 September 2013

Pectoral Sandpiper movement in Cornwall

The last couple weeks has seen a decent movement of Pec's through the county with no less than seven birds seen already in the period.  The early Autumn migrant at Maer Lake was presumably a failed breeding bird. 
(all sightings updated to 9th Sept)
1 Maer Lake, 8th and 9th July.
1 Treraven Meadow, Wadebridge, ad. 21st and 22nd Aug.
1 Walmsley Sanctuary, 26th Aug
3 Sibleyback Lake, 3rd Sept
1 Stithians Lake, Golden Lion end, juv. 5th Sept.
2 Upper Tamar Lake, 7-9th Sept
1 Gannel Estuary, 9th Sept
In addition, recent sightings of Lesser Yellowlegs and Buff-breasted Sandpiper bodes well for the Autumn ahead...
Pectoral Sandpiper at Davidstow in 2011 (C. Steve Rogers)

Sunday 1 September 2013

Basking Shark and Minke Whale on the Mermaid Pelagic off Land's End

Along with the seabirds seen today several interesting Basking Sharks and a Minke were seen from the boat today.  Also a Sunfish put on a decent display jumping out of the water whilst the Minke breached several times.  The Basking Shark came really close and was unperturbed by our presence.

Land's End Pelagic on the Mermaid today

Today I went on a Pelagic trip from Penzance, round Land's End and on to Pendeen.  The main intention was to search the large Manx flock which has been around the Pendeen to Land's End area.  There were several separate flocks totalling a few thousand birds, some including Balearic and Sooty Shearwaters.  One juv Black Tern was also seen.  Sadly no large shears were seen, or any petrels or skuas.  Presumably the static weather requires a change to bring in new birds.