Thursday, 9 January 2014

Guillemot + Purple Sandpipers !



Date spotted: 9th Jan - High Tide - 1PM-3PM
Location: Portishead - Battery Point
Observation: We headed to Battery Point (Portishead) in hope to find the Purple Sandpipers after a few unsuccessful attempts. We arrived at midday and waited for high tide at 1:06pm. Around 12.45pm 5 Purple Sandpipers arrived to feed on the seaweed. A few minutes later 4 Turnstones arrived. Both the Turnstone and Purple Sandpipers weren't very active and seemed to just shelter from the wind and rest rather than feed. We left at around 1.30pm as not much was happening, as we left we noticed some birders to the left of us, they called us over for help on ID'ing the bird. At first we thought it was the Brunnich's Guillemot which had been at Portland previous (always thinking of the rarest bird first!). After confirmation from from Rare Bird Alert, it turnt out to be a Common Guillemot, but a first for us and the other birders there so a nice little bonus. The Guillemot was sheltering from the wind, on the bottom of the cliff, and was feet from us (so we though injured but had a text to say was later swimming back in the sea so was just an exhausted bird). Very successful day even if it wasn't a rarer bird!

Weather: Blue Sky, Sunny but very cold with wind!
Other Species: 70+ Black-Headed Gull, 3 Herring Gull, 15 Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Curlew, Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper, Common Guillemot, Pied Wagtail, Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit