Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sunday stroll at the coast

Sundays weather forecast was wet for the valleys and slightly better at the coast with it dry and grey. So I headed for the coast and got there nice and early and went straight to Salt Lake carpark in Porthcawl. I got out of the car and found the wind was higher than I thought it was going to be. The carpark was empty and I thought not a great start to sunday morning. So next stop was Iron Gate Point and I did some sea watching. Visibility was not great and there was a mist halfway across the channel, the wind on the other hand was pretty good and it did not take to long too pick up my first birds. I had two small flocks of Common Scoters, there were eleven in total and all going down channel. I found in the next hour it got quieter and this a list of what I had,  4 Kittiwakes, 1 Common Gull, 1 Shellduck, 1 Mallard, 1 Cormorant, 16 Turnstone, 3 Oystercatchers. Has good as the wind was it was dead. Well plan C and at this rate I would have been going through the alphabet. I parked in Rest Bay carpark and planned to have a bacon butty on the way back. The walked to Sker point was pretty breezy and there were  a couple of Skylarks trying to display on the golf course. Has I got to the fields by the life guard hut I got  my first view of  a Wheatear for the year where there were a pair  on the field and it doesn't matter how many times you see them they are a cracking bird.
When I got to Sker point the sea was still coming in and there were large numbers of waders on the Rocks. So I found myself a comfortable seat and had a well earned cup of coffee and I went through the flocks. This is a list of what I had, a big flock of about five hundred Golden Plover and they all took off and flew around and came straight back down, the noise was amazing and really loud, some birds were making the call they make when on there breeding grounds. Next up there was a large flock of Sanderling and at a glance looked like snow on the rocks, in total I counted one hundred and seventy nine and the biggest flock I have seen in sometime. There was also smaller numbers of Turnstone, about Sixty in total and about a dozen Oystercatchers. Also three Ringed Plover, two Curlew and the icing on the cake were three Purple Sandpipers. I also had five smart summer plumaged Black Headed Gulls fly past Sker which were the only ones I saw all day. Well talking  of cake a couple of minutes earlier on these pebbles was a whole Madeira cake and has I fetched this cake for the last three weeks I thought I am not taking it back home again this week. I  was watching the birds coming and going and I ate the lot and it went down a treat. When I got back to the car I was too stuffed for bacon buttys and I was so glad I paid the pound to park as the parking warden was there ticketing people .

 Has I walked back along the beach I found these Whelks Eggs and this  Mermaids Purse or Lesser  Dog Fish egg.

I went back to salt carpark on the way home and the Gulls where back, there were about two hundred Herring Gulls and five Lesser Black Backed Gulls.
I also saw this smart third winter Herring Gull and the only ringed bird present was the must be resident Herring Gull S 0 32.

 Nice to see the Turnstone are still along the sea wall and they are fairly tame.

 Bath time for the local starlings and surprising how much water they through about when bathing


  1. I bet those Turnstones were looking for Madeira cake. More fool them !!!

  2. well the one by salt lake carpark were eating bread.

  3. Good read, Martin. It all paid off for you in the end.

  4. Thank you mark and nice to know what everyone thinks of my bit of three valleys birders