Monday, 13 July 2015

Flying Visit....

I made a flying visit to the scrapes this afternoon. The highlight was seeing a blackwit, barwit and knot all in the same scope view, and all resplendent in brick red summer plumage !

Present this arvo.....

4 ruff
1 LRP (juv)
1 blackwit
1 barwit
1 knot
1 common sand
8 dunlin (3 juvs)
28 redshank
2 snipe
9 curlew
52 oycs
3 yellow wags

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Incoming Hummer.....

I was out on the shore in front of our place this afternoon when a hummingbird hawkmoth appeared. It was flying over the outlying rocks and appeared to be arriving straight in off the sea. It paused briefly along a flowery bank before continuing inland towards the houses.

I've had other reports from mates in the last week or so too, including one down at Low Newton, so maybe there's a few about ?
I shall be keeping a keen eye on the red valerian in the garden now anyway....

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Twilight & Clouds....

A couple of nights ago I was out on the local shores looking for some starry skies to photograph. Low cloud was a problem so I ended up with some cloudy reflections instead. There is actually a wisp of noctilucent cloud here but you'll need to look hard to spot it.......

Spot the nocts !


No major changes in species on the scrapes today but two juvenile birds were noteworthy. My first juv dunlin of the year and a nice juv little ringed plover which has joined yesterdays adult bird.

On the scrapes today:

5 ruff
2 LRPs (adult and juv)
8 blackwits
7 dunlin (1 juv)
2 common sands
29 redshank
18 lapwings
40+ oycs
1 little gull
2 yellow wags

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Down on the Scrapes.....

The pec sand was still present this evening.....

Pec sand
Pec sand alongside the male ruff that has been around for ages now....
Also on the scrapes this evening.....

5 ruff
6 blackwits
1 common sand
6 dunlin
32 redshank
21 lapwing
3 snipe
6 curlew
45 oycs
1 little gull
1 med gull
3 yellow wags

1st summer med gull

The Last Few Days.......

I've been visiting the scrapes twice daily for the last few days. There has been a big turnover of birds moving through as well as a few birds like the ruff hanging around, must be good habitat for them. 

Highlights of the last couple of days were the return of the 1st summer glaucous gull on Monday evening and a nice adult pec sand this morning (thanks to Rob !).

Some nice waders about at the moment:

1 pec sand
1 common sand
5 ruff
12 blackwits
2 barwits
4 dunlin
28 redshank
21 lapwing
12 curlew
3 snipe
48 oycs
2 ringed plover

Pec sand creeping about on the scrapes this morning

Monday, 6 July 2015

Waderfest !!

The autumn wader passage seems to be well and truly underway now, the scrapes are looking pretty tasty at the moment too !

Present today:

1 wood sand
1 common sand 
2 barwits
22 blackwits
3 ruff (2 males)
1 little ringed plover
2 ringed plover
1 whimbrel
3 curlew
29 redshank
3 snipe
12 lapwings
36 oycs
2 dunlin
1 1st summer little gull
2 yellow wags

A couple of barwits fresh in, spanking plumage too !

Sunday, 5 July 2015


Last night after the pub I went down onto the shore, I wanted to see if it would get dark enough to see the aurora that was going on.

As I suspected there was constant twilight through the darkest part of the night, it simply wasn't dark enough to see the aurora.
The darkest part of the night in mid summer
Checking over my photos this morning I found a couple with extremely faint pink rays battling their way through the twilight, certainly nothing to write home about tho.

Saturday, 4 July 2015


Sadly there was no sign of the Terek over the high tide this afternoon, I wonder where it is now ?

Consolation came in the form of an unseasonal and very tatty first summer glaucous gull.  

Glaucous gull on the scrapes in July....... Bonkers !
Of note this bird appeared pretty small, even smaller than some of the nearby herring gulls, so presumably it's a female. It also had a pale iris, apparently first summer glaucous gulls can show this feature from April onwards.

Also on the scrapes today:

1 little gull
2 kittiwakes
1 common tern
1 arctic tern
1 male ruff
3 dunlin
2 ringed plover
5 redshank
3 yellow wagtails

Terek Sandpiper !!

After a late night last night I was sat in bed this morning drinking coffee when Jimmy rang me. With zero battery left on his phone he managed to get the words 'terek on the scrapes' out before he was gone.

The shock resulted in a coffee stain on my bed and an extremely rapid exit from the house !

I arrived at the scrapes 10 minutes later to find a heavy rain storm. I don't mind getting soaked for a terek tho ! I dashed down the track and joined Jimmy at the southern end of the scrapes where the terek was feeding along the near edge.
Terek in the rain.....
After just a minute or two the terek took flight and flew straight over our heads towards the beach.We followed it and scoured the entire beach to try and relocate it. An anxious 15 minutes passed, then we heard it calling. It was flying along the beach, again heading straight over our heads and then back towards the scrapes.

We did a U turn and arrived back at the scrapes to find it happily feeding alongside 2 dunlin. Shortly afterwards it was flushed by a Heron and flew back towards the beach again. This thing seemed determined to give us the run around !

We regrouped on the beach and started checking likely areas, but the search was soon abandoned due to heavy rain. With the tide at its lowest point too, we decided the best option would be to return later this afternoon at high tide, in the hope that it flies back into the scrapes.

Fingers crossed......