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?


3 thoughts on “Purple Sand shove ha’penny

  1. Back from 2 weeks in Cape Verde, spent on the island of Sal, staying in the resort of Santa Maria.
    Birding was tough there with only about 20 species seen, however it was more of a beach holiday than a birdwatching trip.

    Highlights were:-
    Iago Sparrow – Very common endemic seen just about everywhere.
    Brown Booby – Seen a couple of times from the beach
    Brown Necked Raven – 7 seen one day on the beach.
    Bar Tailed Dessert Lark – A few seen on an excursion inland.
    Waders were seen most days; there was a large man-made pool just across the road from our hotel. Here I managed to see Turnstone, Kentish Plover and Sanderling most days. I also found 11 Curlew Sandpipers on one day, a single Whimbrel a few times and several Black Winged Stilts.
    A small wet area next to a construction site had all of the waders above except the Whimbrel, but also had 1 Black Tailed Godwit seen on just one day, Wood Sandpiper seen several times and a single Common Sandpiper.
    Osprey and Kestrel were seen a couple of times over the hotel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chiffchaff calling persistently from dense scrub in the south-east corner of the SSSI section of Freshfield Dune Heath this afternoon. Presumably a wintering bird. No song.
    Good to see the gorse clearance work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Black Headed Gulls are perhaps not the most interesting winter birds, but they can give us interesting information. I found a colour ringed Black Headed Gull on 14th Jan at slipway near small pub Southport marine lake. Info was put into Euring and on Thursday came the results. The bird was ringed as a nestling 08-06-2002 at Nemuno Salos, Prieni, Lithuania. Has anyone been there?
    A Black Headed Gull with a colour ring THLP, ringed in Poland, has been recorded on Ainsdale beach for the last 4 winters. I wonder what percentage of our winter gulls are from the Baltic States.
    Please send any ringing recovery records to our County Recorder.
    Duncan (Skip) Rothwell


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