28 Jan 2013

The tide is high but we're going on.......

The tide is high but we're going on - sounds just like a Blondie tune. High tides over the weekend meant a busy one for me. Friday started the ball rolling with a trip to Richmond Bank with Mark P where, in near blizzard conditions, we grilled the gulls looking for something unusual. After three hours of numbing cold we gave up but not before finding a juvenile Glaucous Gull, a 1st winter Caspian Gull and four Yellow-legged Gulls amongst surprisingly few argentatus & aregenteus |Herring Gulls a smattering of Lesser & Greater Black-backs and a few Common Gulls - including a very long winged dark individual that could have come from somewhere much further east.

A warming brew back at mine and we headed off to Parkgate for the raptor roost. We didn't stay long. Snow and freezing winds put us off but we did see the Great - white Egret and a lovely male Hen Harrier.

With heavy snow Friday evening I was pretty sure the planned trip to Anglesey for some wader ringing with the SCAN group would be off. Setting off early Saturday morning whilst the snow ploughs were still busy it soon became apparent that the snow was very local and once I'd cleared Cheshire it was a beautiful sunny day. Unfortunately the waders didn't play ball but it was still a great day to be outside.

PP Gannet shot in driving spray!

Sunday saw Al Orton and me on Hilbre early to cover the high tide period. A force 8 WSW resulted in some pretty good bird movements with the highlights being Black-throated Diver, 48 R T divers, 2 adult Little Gulls, hundreds of Great-crested Grebes, good numbers of Common Scoter, 3 adult Gannets and of course the waders................................. Who could resist the Purple Sandpipers getting blown sideways by the wind.

 Posing on a rock.
 Ops a bit windy.
 Blown off


Unknown said...

Nice Purple Sand shots Phil.
I had a brief trip over to Hilbre last Wednesday during low tide and although I only spent an hour, could not find any Purple Sands at all. This is the first time in twenty years of occasional winter visits to Hilbre that I've failed to find any.
Are the Hilbre numbers down this year?


John Mahon

Phil Woollen. said...

John.They can be little b*ggers to find at low tide as there are so many crooks and nooks they can get in to. The best time is just before high tide when they congregate on the end of the slipway at the norh end. About 1.5 hrs after high tide in the smae place is good. Photo's were taken after high tide.