Thursday, 5 March 2009

All in the timing and the tide.

Pegwell Bay is one of those places that if you're there at the wrong time everything is miles away. That's why it's important to use tide tables.

That's OK in theory, but it's not just the time that counts, I forgot that if the high tide is not a particularly high one there's still quite a lot of mud and roosting places way out from the hide. When I got to the hide Roly had had a Yellow-legged Gull but we failed to relocate it among the hundreds of gulls out there. Through the scope good numbers of most of the common waders, Redshank, Curlew, Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Oystercatchers and Grey Plover could be seen, albeit at a fair distance. I missed a group of Black-tailed Godwits but found one Bar-tailed and a few Turnstones. As the tide came up a bit, small numbers of Golden Plovers came in and a couple of Curlews came closer.

Looking out the waders were in strata, with a layer of Curlews about half way out and a dense layer of Oystercatchers near the waters edge.

Groups of Redshanks were feeding in the muddy edges that were left, their noisy calls ringing out over the bay.
A couple of Shelducks came into the scrape area, and although they were still quite a long way out I liked the reflection in the shallow water. I had bee a fine day but a band of cloud brought the light levels down quite early, and when the Warden arrived for a last look before locking up we chatted for a while but there were still no close waders as we left. Even when all the birds are those that you expect I find the spectacle of so many birds feeding and roosting, flying and sleeping totally absorbing, a well spent afternoon.

1 comment:

steveray1@hotmail.com said...

Tony,

Inspired by your blog I went in search of grey wagtails at Russell Gardens and found one (well I think it was one).
It kept giving me the slip but finally I got close enough to get some good shots (on my Flickr site). The one I photographed did not have a ring, so there's at minimum 2 there.
Steve Ray