Stupidly confused with sandpiper's knots

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday 22 February 2017 21:49

I'm going back a little further, right to the point when I made my first notes and illustrations of birds. This time to see leach's Storm-petrel on the Wirral, yet another bird I have not seen since (bar a dead one in Henfield). So, I'm 12, it's the 22nd September 1990 and I'm still in my pencil crayon phase...

  1.  Leach's Storm-petrel:- 1st one seen seemed to be trying to land on the sand, the less prominent white wing bar led us to think it was a Storm-petrel (I should add this was the first petrel I'd ever seen but glad I had an opinion on what it was) but the fact that yesterday there was 170 Leach's storm petrel  and 1 Storm petrel ensured us (ensured? Try suggested. Pragmatic but not very rigorous Little Graeme) that it was not the latter (note: I no longer use this method to identify things). The second bird got considerably closer the weather conditions where more comfortable and the scope didn't woble. We could now make out the bill and the wing bars where now fairly prominent. It got closer still until the forked tail was visible. Note sharp pointed wing tips and the way they seem to "vanish" into the waves  reapear seconds later. It has to be the best bird of the year.
  2. Gannet:- One gannet extremely far out to sea I thought was a gull untill it droped out of the sky vertically into the water. Nothing els it could be of that size.
  3. Rocky island:- Included twenty to thirty cormorant (adults and juveniles) these seemed to stay away from the over birds. Large flock of bar-tailed godwits flew over but only several landed roughly 200-250 + Oystercatcher on the island along with one Knot and three sandwich terns.
  4. Stop by blue railings:- Knots, dunlins, sanderlings and ringed plovers where sheltering in tussocks of grass. 1 golden plover and 1 dunlin  feeding with Grey plover later they met up with redshank. The dunlin was stupidly confused with sandpiper's knots (I was confused THEN?!) and  even a broad-billed sandpiper.
  5. Plants:- Greater sea spurrey, sea rocket, sea plantain, sea purslane.
Here's a close up of the 'Rocky Island'...

Next up we head to Blithfield to see a dodgy Snow Goose...

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