Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Castlemartin Coast and Bosherston Lakes (West Arm)

Paul Culyer (NRW) and I tried to undertake a non-estuarine winter water birds survey along the Castlemartin peninsula coast today, between Furzenips and Elegug Stacks. Increasingly stormy conditions, heavy drizzle and then fog eventually forced us to abort before undertaking the last section but we managed to record some sections for the NEWS project. Typical expected birds seen this morning included, 70+ oystercatchers, 40+ curlews and c.20 grey plovers. No turnstones or purple sands were detected today but the sea conditions were pretty atrocious, with large waves pounding the coast!

Cabin Door and Pen-y-holt Stack - not exactly ideal conditions for recording coastal birds!
Having abandoned, I went to have a look at a juv. scaup recorded by Paul at Bosherston Lakes western arm yesterday. Like yesterday, it was with a small group of goldeneye. Its a different bird to the one at Pembroke Millpond and one that you have to look at carefully - we think it is a scaup and not a tufted, but it really needs to be seen in better weather conditions. It was quite foggy at the time, with increasingly heavy drizzle when I took a couple of pretty awful images on a small CS camera (1/30th second shutter speed and at ISO 3,500!). Hopefully someone will get better pictures!

Going there was quite useful though as, on the return leg along the eastern side of the Western Arm, a fine ring ouzel flew out from one of the lakeside ash trees. I wasn't expecting that, especially with the weather being so mild at present and with very few obvious migrant thrushes noted there on route. Will it be an over-wintering bird I wonder?