Purple Sand shove ha’penny


I had an appointment over in New Brighton late morning today, so once that was done, I decided to spend my lunch at New Brighton Marine Lake, with a fine high tide already battering Fort Perch Rock when I arrived.
Down at the other end of the lake, the pontoons were flush with waders well before high tide, with 11 Purple Sandpipers, the birds I was hoping to have a good look at, hunched up and snoozing away on the edge of a tightly packed roost of Turnstones (about 60 birds) and about 100 Redshank.


It was all very relaxed until the Turnstones started pushing and shoving – while the sleeping Purple Sands and Redshanks staggered, swayed and braced themselves against the strengthening gusts of wind without lifting their heads from under their wings, the Turnstones frequently squabbled and barged about the roost.
As more Turnstones arrived, more chuntering squabbles broke out as spaces in the safety of the roost were more and more hotly contested.
On the upside, whenever this happened, the Purple Sandpipers woke up so I could briefly try to digi-scope these fleeting moments of consciousness.
Not bad as lunch breaks go, and as I walked back to the car, a Red Fox seemed to be stranded in the rocks of the sea defences as the waves crashed in, much to the consternation of bystanders, but it soon broke cover and loped off towards the arcades of New Brighton behind the backs of human promenaders.
From the frying pan into the fire?