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.
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.
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.