Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Where's The Sand At Cockersands!

Sanderling Brian Rafferty 

The main purpose of my visit to Cockersands yesterday was to be at Plover Scar at high tide to see if any Sanderling are going to turn up here on the way north to their high Arctic breeding grounds....well they didn't, though I note a report of twenty nine here on 11 May. But still time to see if there is ever going to be a repeat of the 120 which showed up here 7 years ago on 31 May 2007 and hasn't done so since, an all time high count of this scarce spring and autumn migrant in our area.

Sedge Warbler David Cookson

On a wander at Cockersands waiting for the tide, Sedge Warbler was singing on Slack Lane, Skylark was collecting grubs off the coastal path obviously feeding young somewhere, I found 3 Whitethroat, 2 Wheatear2 Reed Bunting, the Tree Sparrow are always guaranteed around Bank Houses paddock though not often in double figure, 3 Greenfinch seen. Eight Stock Dove were in a field which was rough stubble just three weeks ago and now has a crop three inches high, 2 Whitethroat were on Moss Lane.

When I finally got to Plover Scar wader numbers were much depleted with c.225 Ringed Plover, up to 100 Dunlin, a solitary Whimbrel, and a Brown Hare had wandered on to the scar, with 8 Eider off here.

At least 12 House Martin have returned to Conder Green and were busy collecting mud off the Cocker banks and have started to build their nests at River Winds and Cafe d' Lune. Conder Pool held 13 Black-tailed Godwit, and I heard a Sedge Warbler on the marsh edge opposite the Stork Hotel, and saw a Whitethroat and Reed Bunting.

The biggest surprise was virtually the last bird of the day, when I looked towards the shingle below the abbey and saw a bird fly out to sea before doing a u-turn, it was immediately identifiable as a Common Sandpiper and was a first for me as I don't recall seeing one at Cockersands ever before.

Thanks to BR/DC for the brilliant images in this post.    

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