Sunday, 19 October 2014

Thats a bit more like it...

I'm snow sure if i ken what this bird is..

When I arrived home yesterday evening, I noted that a Kentish Plover had been found by Mark Hipkin at Crymlyn Burrows, some time just after 4 pm. I had passed the site about quarter to 4 and toyed with the idea of stopping and doing a bit of birding.Doh!
So it was a not too early meet with Phil this morning (6:45am, and that is about as late as we get!) to head down and add this to my British list. As it was only the two of us, we took my dinky toy, giving Phil the rare chance to sit back and relax. We arrived not long after 7:30 to a wide expanse of open beach and strong SW winds. The waders were all out following the receding tide line, so we headed down the beach in order to walk back up towards the waders with the wind slightly behind us. It took a while before we located the Ringed Plovers, which we expected the Kentish to be with. and we gradually made our way closer, stopping and scanning every 20m or so.
By this time, the cavalry had arrived. but before they got anywhere near I picked up the target bird. Tick! I got Phil onto it and signaled to the others that I had it, and we were all soon enjoying this all to infrequent visitor to our neck of the woods (or beach in this case).
Discussions did get round to the possibility that, given the time of year, this could prove to be a Snowy Plover (a very similar American species, and previously a sub species of the Kentish Plov'). The main known differences are that the Snowy tends to be slightly smaller, paler, and has shorter, paler legs than the Kentish. To my mind the bird looked shorter legged than any Kentish I've seen, but they did look dark/black. Hopefully the bird will stick around for a few days and better photo's obtained. If it does turn out to be a Kentish, stand well back from the stampede as it would be a first for Britain!
After taking our fill of the plover we headed over to Kenfig, which is officially dead - never have I seen so few birds around the pool - before heading to Portobello and Pant Norton, where 4 fly over Yellowhamers were the best birds.

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