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Marvellously Mediterranean

Posted by on July 28, 2008 8:34 PM | 

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Baking hot afternoon, so I scurried down to the dunes at Ainsdale after work with the initial plan of looking for dragonflies - things started well at the Sands Lake with Emperor patrolling the edges, and Common and Blue Tailed Damselflies.
In the northern end a young Little Grebe was dozing under the branches, its parents frequently trying to teach it how to fish - but it was too hot - the grebelet was happier sleeping and occasionally pecking at leaves.
Pushing on into the dunes, I planned to head for pools further north, coming across little but Kestrels and Meadow Pipits, and one or two courting couples who looked suitably startled as I coughed loudly on my approach (very English).
"'Xcuse me, birder coming through, pardon me vicar..."
I was just about at the pools when I happened to cast an eye out over the beach and the low tide, just as a loose flock of 18 Manx Shearwaters drifted north - not what I'd expect, but it was enough to draw me away from the dunes and onto the sands.
Simon, who contacted the blog earlier in the week will be pleased to know that there were good numbers of roosting terns out near the water's edge - at least 120 Sandwich, 30-40 Common and about 10 Arctics.

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Simon, should you be reading this, the birds were directly off the southern end of the Green Beach, but a good way out.
I spent about an hour edging close to them then sat and watched as they slept and preened, the tide starting to turn behind them.
Whenever an adult Sandwich flew into the roost with a fish, all the young birds woke up and started squawking.
To be honest, I was looking for a Roseate (if they can call in at Seaforth, why not Ainsdale?), but no joy.
As the channels filled up with water, Barwits and Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin and Oycs were pushed closer to me, although the most interesting bird was a lone Golden Plover, looking very out of place in one of the channels.

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Dogwalkers flushed it, and it headed off south, calling.
The beach was really busy this afternoon - barbies, sunbathers, police, ice cream vans and hot, hot sun, strange to think I'll be seawatching in a few days, when hopefully the weather'll be a whole lot meaner.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...

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4 Comments

John ,
Have just read your report for the afternoon and thanks again for the information.
With a bit of luck I hope to be out there Tuesday lunchtime viewing some terns !! Cheers Simon

Spent a couple of hours on the beach this morning , just as the tide was going out. Plenty of Sandwich and Common Terns about, Arctic probably but just not sure !!
Loads of Sanderling, Oystercatcher, Dunlin and a lone Barwit with all the gulls.
Thanks for the info John.

Ringing results from one of the colour ringed Avocets seen on Rimmers Marsh at Marshside on June 25th shows that it was ringed as a chick in Brittany at the Réserve Naturelle des Marais de Séné in 2007.

Graham,

Is that the one snapped by John Drakeley ? His preliminary info. was that that one had been ringed somewhere in Loire-Atlantique. I think he left a photo of it in Sandgrounders.

Ron

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