29 Aug 2010

A New Tick for my Local Patch. A Couple of Curlew Sandpiper at Killard Nature Reserve.

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper

I woke up early and decided to head out to Killard Nature Reserve. As my dog is on heat I decided not to take her with me. In hindsight a good thing. I was really hoping that I would find the Grey Plover had returned to it's tiny piece of beach that it has been returning to for the last six years. It generally arrives between the 23rd and 28th August. So it seems to be overdue. There were lots of records of them in England this past week so I was crossing my fingers.

The weather was heavy showers and quite windy. I left home in the rain and by the time I got to Killard it was bright. There were loads of Wheatears every where.
Wheatear oenanthe oenanthe

 I must have seen six between Strangford and Killard. As I walked to the point for the Grey Plover I put up at least another six Wheatear.

I walked onto Ben Derg beach and the tide was right out. There were lots of Great Black Backed Gulls on the shoreline. There was also a flock of small waders which were predominantly Ringed Plover and a few Dunlin at the waters edge. As I was making my way off the beach I put up a juvenile Ringed Plover and two other waders. I immediately noticed the white rump of the two waders.
Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper in Flight

They flew round me and landed back on the beach. Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper. As you can see from the light in the above photo it had got dark quite suddenly and within a minute it was pouring with rain.
So later in the day I headed back and got a few more shots. Unfortunately by this time there were quite a few walkers with dogs and after a short while it had flown off. It did make up for the fact that the Grey Plover was nowhere to be seen.
Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper


Sam and Lisa said...

Great post, waders especially Juvs are one of identification weaknesses.

Gerry Snape said...

I love the blog as it tells me the names of birds that I ought to know and don't even though I've been looking at them since I was little and I still walk the edge at Morecambe Bay where the birders come and flock.

Anonymous said...

The curlew sandpiper is a lovely little bird isn't it? I was down in Rogerstown estuary on sat and apparently there was one there too - but I didn't see it - just got rained on like you did!
Great pic of it on your beach - your closeups are always really clear. Siobhan