On Thursday of this week I counted up to 350 Ringed Plover (RP) on Plover Scar at Cockersands which is by far the highest personal count of the species anywhere in the recording area of LDBWS, but some subsequent searching through the various annual reports has turned up some interesting figures.
The WeBS count for May 2000 on the Ribble indicated the importance of the estuary as a feeding ground for passage birds including the RP, and in this year the count recorded 5,432 RP. However, from this year up to and including 2007 there was some quite interesting figures from the Ribble Estuary varying from the high count in 2000 to a low of 356 RP in 2002 and the nearest count to compete with 5,432 RP was in 2003 when 4,300 RP were recorded.
Nearer to home and in terms of available LDBWS reports up to 2007, I searched back for just 5 years and the most notable spring passage in 2003 was at Fluke Hall where 82 RP were recorded on 1 May. By contrast just 38 RP was the figure recorded for the May WeBS count. In 2004 the count was 67 RP and in 2005 the spring passage was referred to in the LDBWS Annual Report as 'again a non event' and the WeBS count was once more as low as 48 RP. In 2006 I found an interesting figure in that by something of a coincidence a count of 450 RP at Cockersands on 14 May - the same date/place as my 350 RP this week - was referred to as 'an exceptional count' and the WeBS count in this year was 479 RP. So through a little 'quickie' research I concluded it was no surprise my count of 350 this week was a personal best - in the LDBWS recording area - for the RP.
On 3 December 2008 I counted 170 Turnstone between Teal Bay and Broadway and referred to this in my notes as an excellent number for the species between these two points......I'm off to read some more Annual Reports now!