Friday, 17 August 2012

Counting waders and the rest

This afternoon was a chance for Jeremy and me to do one of the regular wader counts we do on the island at this time of the year. It always gives a chance to mooch around parts of the island you don't get to very often ...and there is always something to see. 

 For a start a lot of turnstones were seen, 202 to be exact, all in varying stages of moulting or in their juvenile plumage. Did you know that each turnstone has an individual patterns of black blotches on their checks that enables them to tell each other apart ?  This year has been a good year for turnstones.
More worryingly was that fewer purple sandpipers are being seen this year, only 51 this count. For the record the others seen and counted were common sandpiper - 8, whimbrel - 1, redshank - 5, curlew -  29, golden plover - 1, oystercatcher - 26, and (best of all and a rare sight on the island bar-tailed godwit) - 1. 
While walking the shore I enjoyed the shapes of the rock, especially the dolerite columns.

And tried to avoid the gull chicks that were trying to avoid me.

A bit of Picasso modern art, in the style of Isle of May geology.

There were many reminders that the island is a ships graveyard, this is a piece of the Island, wrecked in 1937.

Plenty of shags posing on the rocks.

But also plenty of reminders of the lack of responsibility some people have for their waste. Below is a crisp packet washed up, beautifully folded up but then discarded. . 

This gull chick was wedged in a gully surrounded by a mass of washed up plastic bottles. I released it.

One of the many balloons that we find on the island, the ribbons easily get tangled around birds legs and trap them.

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