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Quality roost

Posted by on July 12, 2010 7:33 PM | 


Good roost developing on the shore over rising tide north of Cabin Hill today - hopefully it will stay good all week thanks to decent tides.
Checked it out occasionally during the late morning while I worked near Albert Road, as growing numbers of Sandwich and Common Terns joined brick-red Knot and Barwits.
Several hundred Dunlin with Sanderling, Grey Plovers etc.
Better quality lurked amongst the regulars though - two superb full summer adult Little Gulls and a fine adult summer Med Gull stuck around for a few hours.
Best and briefest was a gorgeous Black Tern that came in low to the flat calm water and bathed for a minute or so in the shallows before flying out to sea again.
Another full summer plumage stonker, and always a nice species to catch up with on the coast.
Gannets feeding offshore and plenty of Grey Seals.
Less successful dealing with life in the tidal zone were these dogfish I bumped into in a channel north of Freshfield on Friday.


These two are very dead, but one bigger fish was still alive and I managed to carry it out to the sea and release it - that'll teach 'em to chase shoals of smaller fishies into shallow water....
Away "dahn sarf" over the weekend, with rien de birding, although incidental Hobby, Little Owl, Green Woodpecker and a wing-tagged Red Kite (the latter over the A14 in Cambridgeshire) were good.
Decided to check out the slacks after work today and found 16 Dune Helleborine flower spikes during a quick search north of the Sands Lake.
I don't doubt there were more.



It doesn't feel like summer until I've poked around a few orchids - plenty of Marsh Helleborines out of course, with Grass of Parnassus, Wintergreen etc and another of those confusing white form marsh orchid hybridy things.


Best thing to do with these is photograph 'em, then run away and hope Phil Smith can tell me what it is!
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...


Your orchid is not a hybrid but a rare white form of Early Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata). This is a real prize as I have only seen a handful of them in over 40 years!

Thanks Phil...I had a feeling it was, you may remember you helped me i.d. one of these things in the slacks a year or two back.
This particular plant is blooming in a group of orchids, several of which are pretty pale, but none as white as this beauty.

Not Dogfish but Smoothhounds. They eat crustacea. Popular with anglers further up the Lancs coast.
"Catch and release" of course.
Any car accessible roosts? Best if I can film from inside my Landie,

I was lucky enough to be seawatching from Hilbre over high tide on the 12th when a large pod of about 30 (almost certainly bottle-nosed) dolphins emerged from your direction and headed south-west, taking at least half an hour for them all to pass through. With 2 harbour porpoise showing well closer in, this was a great day for cetaceans.

eyes to the skies..but don't forget to look down occasionally, Ian.


The 'dogfish' look like Smoothhounds to me.

Hi Ron - re the car accessible roosts, there was a reasonable gull and tern roost at the north end of Ainsdale beach today, about 100 metres south of the green beach - which could be filmable if you were in position before the height of tomorrow's tide...
80+ Sarnie Terns, Common Terns, gull sp and plenty of Dunlin feeding on the tide's edge.
Car parking fee on beach a mere £3.50.

Thanks John. My vidding outfit is suddenly and temporarily (I hope) U/S at least with long lenses thus £3.50 might be money ill spent.
Talking of saltwater corrosion, which we're not. During the Shore Lark "happening" last year I bumped into a geezer who had parked his new "Discovery" on the beach at Weld Road.
A "snapper" but not, I think, a birder, 500mm Canon/Nikon outfit.
"Can I drive down the beach?"
"No but you wouldn't want to because of the saltwater."
"I've even driven this out to Hilbre Island, but no problem 'cos I trade these in for a new one every year."

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