Tortoiseshell.

I managed to count 49 of the summering Turnstones at Marshside this afternoon as they dozed at the back of the Sandplant lagoon – there were probably a few more hidden in the vegetation and channels, but they were entertainment for an hour or so.
It’s the first time I’ve had a close (-ish) look at them since Stuart Darbyshire found this flock of non-breeders over a month ago.
Quite regular on the estuary and along the coast to Crosby of course, but I can’t remember seeing them in numbers on the inland side of the reserve before.
Turnstones are pretty site faithful (apart from cool migration periods) whether breeding or not, so why they have suddenly found the inner marsh to their liking is interesting. That said, their movements are complex and impressive.

Wibbly wobbly blurred video footage was inevitable. Results on YouTube here. Sorry.
One of those “if they were rare you’d travel miles to see one” birds.
I had to take a few runs at counting them as a young Peregrine kept ripping through on several unsuccessful sorties, trailed by screaming BHGs, but still putting the willies up everything.

More efficient was the LBB on the lagoon confronted by at least seven big fish dead in the shallows – spoilt for choice but a fish supper was certainly on the cards before the sharp showers returned.

Anyone know what type of fish lurk in the lagoon?
They were substantial alright – at least the size of ornamental Carp, but silvery grey above with white undercrackers mottled with grey. Couldn’t really make out fin colour etc.

2 thoughts on “Tortoiseshell.

  1. Hi John There are variety of fish in the lagoons. The water is still fairly brackish, steadily being diluted by rain. I know there are Eels, Dabs and other small sea fish that have grown up there.
    At a glance and by your description the may be Grey Mullet ?
    There are Roach, Three spined stickle backs and ten spined in the rest of the waterways on Rimmers marsh.
    Of course these waterways have had some amalgamation when flooding has occurred.
    All the best Neil Mc

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks Neil. M’learned friend Graham Clarkson suggested Thick-lipped Grey Mullet, which is good enough for me. I’ve seen a few species – eels, dabs etc – being grabbed by birds in there over the years, but never such large specimens, all apparently spent.

      Like

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