Saturday, 6 December 2014

Waders at Southsea Castle

This afternoon I took advantage of the fantastic weather and headed down to Southsea Castle to look and hopefully photograph the wintering Purple Sandpipers, and anything else that might be there. I arrived at around 1:30pm which was about an hour after high tide, so at least some of the sea defence where the birds usually are found was exposed. 

The first two birds I saw when I arrived were a couple of Sanderling, one adult and one first winter, the adult bird was also colour-ringed. They were feeding at the eastern end of the sea defence, picking through the seaweed and were extremely confiding. The top two images are of the juvenile bird and it is possible to see the retained brownish juvenile tertials and other wing feathers. The third and fourth images are of the adult bird, the uniform plumage of the upper parts, and blackish, and less pointed primary tips are evident.

There are various colour-ringing schemes being carried out in different countries on Sanderling, the colour of the flag should give an indication as to which country the bird was ringed in. I could not find a blue flag mentioned and so have emailed to organiser, but it may be that this bird is one of those that was ringed at Sandy Point on Hayling Island a few years back.

The second species that I recorded was a Knot. A single bird had been reported earlier in the week and I had hoped it might still be around. This bird was feeding in the middle section of the sea defences, and again was very confiding, although it did take flight when a large dog came skidding along towards it. This bird was also a first winter with the contrast between the adult and juvenile feathers very evident. The juvenile feathers are the grey brownish ones with a dark subterminal band.

Purple Sandpiper
There were at least 11 Purple Sandpipers feeding in the central and western parts of the sea defences. Initially the were quite close in, but as the tide receded they mover further out. Photographing them was tricky as I was having to shoot into the sun most of the time, and it was not possible get really close to them as the ground was too slippery. 

Rock Pipit
There was only one Rock Pipit present and this bird was picking amongst the cracks . This bird also appeared to be a first winter bird; this was based on the fact that the two outermost greater coverts appear to be more broadly fringed, buff coloured and longer. The juvenile feathers appear shorter and fringed whitish.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...