Saturday, 22 November 2008


The most sheltered spot from the chilly Arctic wind at the country park on Saturday 22nd, was below the cliff along the beach. The early morning was the best part of the day and as the tide headed out, there were lots of waders arriving to feed.

Many of the waders would be eager to get back to a normal day's feeding after the strange goings-on with the tides on the day before. The strong northerly winds prevented the tide from going out around the middle of the day. The sea didn't even get to its usual halfway mark and at times was even flowing back in again.

There were some big flocks of waders flying around the mudflats that were exposed such as 500 knot and 1000 dunlin, while overhead there was a prolonged whooshing sound like a gust of wind, as 1000 golden plover flew past.

The waders that were waiting for the tide to recede from the beach on the sunny Saturday morning included a group of 20 turnstones and a sanderling resting on a partially submerged pillbox. Out at sea a red-breasted merganser flew westwards low over the water.

In the grazing fields 300 brent geese and 100 wigeon grazed while 25 goldfinches fed on some of the old thistle-heads. Along the seawall the usual pair of stonechats perched up on a bush.

There seemed to be more ducks at the park pond today with nearly 200 birds on show, although many more were probably hiding amongst the reeds. Most were mallard with at least 120 seen, also 30 teal, 30 shoveler and 6 gadwall. The regular pair of mute swans, little grebes and coots added to the spectacle.

Later in the day Andy Field noted 5 snow buntings on the beach at the Point.

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