Sunday, 13 September 2015

Waders etc on the move along the Castlemartin coast - Frainslake and Bluckspool beaches

Early this morning (our first WeBs counts of the autumn) produced nothing particularly exceptional (very few waterfowl around generally) but it was nice to see an adult Med Gull resting on the water below the French Mill on Carew River. Annie recorded six herons standing together near Landshipping Quay.

Later in the day along the Castlemartin coast, there was much more evidence of waders on the move. The highlight probably being a flock of 111 knot heading east, plus 3 others roosting on the beach at Bluckspool.

Counts of other wader species, feeding and roosting on the beach included: ringed plover (65), sanderling (70+), dunlin (18), turnstone (33), oystercatcher (84), curlew (35) and whimbrel (5). During a 2 hour period between 15:30 and 17:30 small mixed wader flocks regularly flew east along the coast (including additional numbers of sanderling, dunlin, ringed plover and turnstone).

Up to 75 sanderlings were busy feeding on the beach - notably at Bluckspool 

Small numbers of dunlin fed along-side the more hyperactive sanderling

All ringed plovers seen were juveniles

A high-flying flock of 22 cormorants also headed east during this period. Offshore, 7 sandwich terns were feeding in the bay either side of the Pole (between Bluckspool and Frainslake beaches).

Alba wagtail species were gathering in the dune grassland late in the afternoon, including at least 12 white wags. Choughs were starting to move towards their roost later in the day - c. 30 recorded in two separate flocks.
Part of a chough flock heading along the coast in the late afternoon
Numbers of large gulls resting on Frainslake beach were well down on last weekends counts with just 42 LBBGs (all adults), 115 GBBGs (none colour-ringed) and 38 herring gulls present.