I had been trying to get good internet connections for some time as I needed to Skype a few people and also reply to some long over due emails. Luckily there was a window on Wednesday afternoon and so I jumped on the 13:30 boat. First call was the wader roost of which I had missed the high tide roost but luckily managed to connect with the post roost. The southern beach was empty but as I scanned over to the northern beach I could see plenty of waders and terns present. So I made my way to the northern beach as quick as possible.
Mersing is hot at the best of times but today it was a painful, stinging, humid heat, the kind that makes a non-local like myself pour with sweat and just want an air conditioned room, a cold drink and a comfy sofa but then when there are waders to look at it seems to keep you going doesn't it. I was pleased with my last visit but today was good and added another 2 new species to the return list.
Todays totals are as follows.
Turnstone 2 adults (first returning birds of the season)
Redshank 1 adult (first returning bird of the season)
Great Knot 2 (1st summers)
Greater Sandplover c70 (increase in numbers)
Lesser Sandplover c760 (big increase in numbers with the first juvenile of the season)
Common Sandpiper 1
Malaysian Plover 1
W B Sea-Eagle 1 perched on fishing poles just off shore
Common Tern 1
Great Crested Tern 49 (increase in numbers with the first juvenile of the season but sadly a few heavily oiled birds)
Above 2 photos are what I believe to be the first juvenile Lesser Sandplover of the season, I have no experience at all with juvenile Sandplovers and so this is a good learning opportunity but also one hell of a headcahe. As soon a I saw the bird above I was happy with it as a Lesser, the soft feel to the bird, the gentile like appearance, the ashen dark legs (I know bare parts are not to be used as a conclusive feature alone) and the shortness of bill are what struck me in the field, however since re-looking at the photos I seem to feel like the bill on "presumed" Lesser below keeps growing in length and some what to long at times then at others I feel that it fits in to the range.
I have cropped these photos down in size just for the head shots and looking at the bird from Wednesday the 8th compared to the Greater from the 03rd of August I think that the bill on the bird above is acceptable as a Lesser compared with the bill on the Greater below- BUT I can't help questioning this.(Any comments)
Above shows you 1 of the 2 new new Ruddy Turnstones in today and they seemed to stay within close range to the 2 Great Knots.
Above shows the bay of the northern beach this afternoon as the tide was retreating. The sandbar in between the bay and the estuary is a good post high tide roosting spot for Terns. Photo below shows the first juvenile Great Crested Tern of the Season.