Sunday, August 26, 2012

Well it wasn't all bad getting stuck off the Island for an extra couple of nights. When news broke on the evening of the 21st that there was a Broad-billed Sandpiper at Seaton Snook, we were already well into our third pints down the local. It was perhaps a bit hopeful to expect the bird to return to the same high tide roost the following evening, but it did. The crappy digiscoped images don't really do justice to the views we had, but it was cracking. The bird usually kept a lower profile than the Dunlin, crouching down in dips and troughs. As the flock worked up towards the gathered crowd of 20 or so birders, we were all hoping for some great views. But the flock was quite active and various dog walkers were not helping them to settle. But the birds kept getting closer. However, for no apparent reason, the star bird suddenly departed with a small group of Dunlin and was last seen flying high over the South side of Teesmouth, perhaps on its way to Nosterfield. But even without the sandpiper, it was an excellent roost. The tern flock, primarily made up of a three figure count of Common Terns, also held a few Arctic Terns, a couple of Sandwich Terns, two Black Terns and an adult Roseate Tern joined the group late on. Two Curlew Sandpipers were with the Dunlin flock.

Rather poor photos of the juvenile Broad-billed Sandpiper and a Black Tern. This is a truly fantastic site, but it is sadly disturbed by dog walkers on a far too regular basis. Surely there must be a way of dissuading people from the Seaton Snook area at high tide? The vast majority of dog walkers are totally oblivious to the disturbance they are causing, indeed most were oblivious to the big group of people watching them walk through the birds. Perhaps some big dog shaped signs could kindly ask them to walk their dogs on the couple of miles of beach in the other direction? This was only the second Broad-billed Sandpiper of 2012 following on from one in the Outer Hebrides back in May. (c) Richard Brown

A little way to the South, at Lockwood Beck, the Osprey was again showing very well, occasionally fishing below where we were sat. Our yearlist, severely hampered by nine weeks in the Caribbean, scraped over the 200 mark with this bird (watch out Tonks and Aimes, we're coming). (c) Richard Brown

Back on Bardsey and a trickle of migrants are continuing to pass through. It's been a great autumn for Pied Flycatchers with numbers considerably up on recent years. The broad white outer edges to the tertials which step in at the feather shaft show this to be a bird hatched this year. Hopefully many people recognise this particular plumage from our little competition at the BOC stand at the Birfair. (c) Richard Brown


  1. Like the Gannet picture Mr B

  2. Hello, I would like to be in touch with the pair of you with a writing opportunity. Please would you let me know the best means of contacting you? Kind regards, Alycia

  3. Hi Alycia,


    look forward to hearing from you

    Rich and Giselle