Local patch birding and coastal natural history around Charmouth, Dorset, UK and sightings from trips further afield
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
DUNLIN, SANDERLING and RINGED PLOVER 11/05/16
So far I've seen relatively few wading birds on Charmouth Beach. It's just doesn't seem to be all that attractive to waders, presumably because of lack of mud/food sources and because it's busy. It does have fresh water where the river flows across the beach and at low tide, the shingle and rock extends sufficiently far out for there to be a resting-space for the birds, albeit briefly. There were 5 Dunlin on 22/04/16 and until today I had not seen either Sanderling or Ringed Plover here. This spring's wader-passage has brought only a few Whimbrel, 1 Common Sandpiper and a solitary Grey Plover which arrived and stayed briefly on 09/05/16. So my expectation was not high as I started watching. It was a very wet start to the day and as more rain came in, reducing visibility still further, suddenly a couple of decent sized flocks of small waders appeared out of the mist, grouping together and flying past and over the beach. I've now had time to have a proper look at the video clips I took to make the following counts. This mixed flock of 105 waders consisting of 70 Dunlin, 25 Sanderling and 10 Ringed Plover is by far the biggest count of waders I've seen on the beach.
Standing in the car park I watched the display. You can hear the Dunlin calling as they flypast (I think the 'clicking' on the audio is the sound of the rain which has been picked up by the microphone);