Saturday, 17 April 2010

Sandy Bay Sea Watch

Went to Sandy Bay tonght for an hours sea watch. The sun was shining and it turned out to be a pleasent evening despite half of the Sandy Bay caravan parks youth population trying to set fire to every available piece of shrub. The amount of rubbish in the dunes was disgusting but we managed to find a quiet spot and sat down and waited.
To my delight Martins were seen dashing here and there and my guess was they were Sand Martins, they are darn quick and everytime I focused on one through my bins the little blighter flew into the light.
Next Terns started fishing just in front of us. Now I went to the Farne Islands last year and was told by the wardens all about the terns that visit us and my un- educated guess is that the ones I saw were Sandwich Terns. I think they had black beaks and to be honest thats all I can remember. They didn't stay long but they were a delight to watch.
A few Eider ducks swam by and off to the left of where we were sitting I spotted a group of odd birds. The sun wasn't doing me any favours but there semed to be a redish tinge to some of them, others had dark heads and necks with pale chests. They were well away from shore and after consulting my book and ruling out Eider Duck, Scoter, Goosander and Shelduck I finally came across Red Breasted Merganser . I think they may have been Mergansers but they were to far away for photo's.
On the way back to the car either Pipits or Sky Lark was spotted on the ground running up the little path. Didn't get a good look at it but the behavior seems to steer me towards Skylark running away form the nest site. I didn't realise that they can be seen in the dunes till I consulted my book. I'm often wrong though.
So I definately spotted Eider Ducks, and Martins but unsure weather House or Sand. Skylark but it could of been a Pipit and and odd thing that could be a Merganser, and a Tern that really could of been either Sandwich, Common or Arctic. Hey Ho hehehehe had a cracking time though. I'm pleased when I'm out and about that people don't ask me to ID something because my answer is normally one of several.

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