Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bunny Meadows again.....

The weather was fantastic today, full sun, flat calm but it was extremely cold...although not as cold as Norfolk last weekend!! Since I had been away last weekend, today was all about spending time with my wife, so we decided to go for a stroll along the shingle spit at Bunny Meadows, but not before a spot of lunch at a nearby pub. High tide was at 13:25 so we timed our walk to coincide with the last hour of the rising tide.

Roosting Waders Bunny Meadows

We arrived about an hour before high tide, just in time to see birds concentrated on the last remnants of inter-tidal mud before they were covered in salt water.

Dunlin and Wigeon

Around 200 Dunlin were feeding on the exposed mud, along with Wigeon, Greenshank and Grey Plover. The Dunlin were scattered around on the last remaining exposed areas of mud frantically feeding, whilst other species such as Grey Plover and Greenshank were opting for a quick snooze.

Dunlin and Grey Plovers

There were at least five colour-ringed Grey Plover visible on the mud but unfortunately I did not have my scope with me to allow me see the colour combinations, although zooming up on the photo above has enabled me to see three.

Greenshank and Dunlin

Five Greenshank and a single Black-tailed Godwit were present whilst two Grey Plovers roosted on the old wooden walkway.

Grey Plovers

I have tried to capture Rock Pipits at Bunny Meadows on many occasions, so I was intrigued to see that birds were very approachable on the shingle spit as the tide came in. 

Rock Pipit

In fact one bird kept walking up to me and I am sure it would have been attracted in by a well positioned meal worm in a spring trap.

Rock Pipit

Given the close views I was getting I thought it might be possible to age the birds present. Adults undergo a complete post breeding moult, whereas juveniles a partial moult and therefore I was hoping that it might be possible to see a moult limit within the greater coverts, but unfortunately there was nothing obvious visible.

Rock Pipit

A subtle cough in the background reminded me that I wasn't alone, so I packed up my camera stuff and continued my walk with my very patient wife.

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