Broad-Bodied Chaser

Broad-Bodied Chaser
Wing Mosaic (Broad-bodied Chaser): Winner, Nikon In-Frame Competition August 2010

Spoonbill

Spoonbill
Spoonbill: Birdguides Photo of the Year 2012 Runner-up

Monday, 20 February 2012

Ringed Sanderling Washed Up in Wells

At Wells beach on Sunday 12th February I noticed a lone colour ringed Sanderling. Subsequent enquiries show this to be a frequently observed bird.  Chris Kelly from one of the Wash Wader groups kindly sent me a history of sightings of this bird.
 


First ringed in 2007, this Sanderling has spent most of its time in the UK around The Wash in Spring and Autumn. The sighting at Wells may solve the mystery of where it goes in the Winter:
18-Apr-07 Heacham far north beach (Colour ringed on this date)
5-May-07 Ferrier Sand
15-Jul-07 Snettisham SC
4-Aug-07 Snettisham SC
13-Aug-07 Heacham far north beach
25-Aug-07 Styleman's Middle
29-Aug-07 Heacham far north beach
30-Aug-07 Heacham far north beach
31-Aug-07 Heacham far north beach
1-Sep-07 Heacham far north beach
2-Sep-07 Heacham far north beach
8-Sep-07 Ferrier Sand
8-Sep-07 Ferrier Sand
9-Sep-07 Seal Sand
29-Mar-08 Titchwell
30-Mar-08 Titchwell
6-Apr-08 Titchwell
20-Apr-08 Heacham far north beach
22-Apr-08 Heacham far north beach
6-May-08 Heacham far north beach
7-May-08 Heacham far north beach
8-May-08 Heacham far north beach
10-May-08 Ferrier Sand
20-Jul-08 Snettisham north beach
23-Jul-08 Heacham far north beach
1-Aug-08 Heacham far north beach
4-Aug-08 Heacham far north beach
1-Sep-08 Heacham far north beach
2-Sep-08 Heacham far north beach
3-Sep-08 Heacham far north beach
10-Apr-09 Heacham far north beach
Lost Red ring between these sightings - presumably on the breeding grounds.
5-Sep-09 Snettisham SC
29-Mar-10 Heacham far north beach
2-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
16-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
18-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
19-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
27-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
28-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
29-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
30-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
21-Jul-09 Heacham far north beach
23-Jul-09 Heacham far north beach
24-Jul-09 Heacham far north beach
30-Mar-10 Heacham far north beach
18-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
29-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
30-Apr-10 Heacham far north beach
3-May-10 Heacham far north beach
23-Apr-11 Heacham far north beach
13-Feb-12 Wells (This sighting)

Chris also kindly sent some more information regarding the short periods, evident from the above dates, that the Sanderling spends on the breeding grounds to the north:

"There is only a small window in summer when Sanderlings are not present
on the Wash - the last spring migrants (mostly African birds) are still passing through to the end of the first week in June and the first returning birds appear in mid-july. So the short period on the breeding grounds is not unusual even for adult birds. I think some of the early returning birds may be failed breeders although it is possible that one sex deserts once the chicks hatch and return to the wintering grounds. This is known to happen in Knots for example where the female leaves the care of the chicks to the male. As with most arctic waders breeding starts as soon as they arrive back on the breeding grounds which will be in late May or early June for for Greenland birds (later for Siberian dones). So by early July the chick will be hatching and one sex could desert. Every year the first returning birds appear in mid-July and the first juveniles around 12th August. Some Sanderlings lay two clutches of eggs and the male and female each incubate a clutch."


Thanks very much Chris for this fascinating insight.



Saturday, 18 February 2012

Some Images from Frozen Norfolk - February 2012

An early morning drive up to Norfolk for a winter weekend was spectacular; a freezing minus 12 all the way and a beautiful scenery of spectacular frost, snow and mist.
We arrived at Titchwell to find it in full sun; while it was still well below freezing, the sun was warm and conditions were perfect.

A Spotted Redshank was feeding close in on one of the tidal pools:






A reflective shot in the still blue water:



Down at the beach their were numerous waders, including some nice Grey Plover:




Dunlin were as numerous as ever:





Knot:




Sanderling:




On Sunday at Kelling, the Coues' Arctic Redpoll was easy to locate, coming to the feeders on a regular basis:



Fieldfare at Holme Dunes:




A wintery scene at Welney: