Wednesday 16 February 2022

BIKING BIRDER VI 2022 February 9th KENTISH PLOVER UTB! Burnham on Sea, Somerset.


          Out earlyish, after being admonished for not being out at first light by a text from Chris Craig stating that the Kentish Plover had already been seen, I arrive at the same spot as yesterday, at the south end of the promenade and am soon joined by Chris.

         Soon after this a well-known birder, Paul Chapman and his wife, Judith arrive and we all start searching the far bank of the River Parrot, known as Steart Island for the rare plover. 


          Suddenly Paul says he's got it! Chris says he's got it and eventually I say - "Got it!"

          On the far bank amongst a number of Ringed Plover, there is a distinctly paler bird with a different way of moving, a different jizz. 

          To prove that I can indeed see this distant bird, I try to photograph it using my iPhone and the telescope that Chris has brought with him.

          National Geographic have been in touch to use the image of the rare wader for their next calendar!

          Oh well, try again next time!

          Kentish Plover* utb

          Other new BIGBY birds seen included Mediterranean Gull*, Knot* and Turnstone* taking the list to 118. 

          Now just a few miles to the north at Brean Sands are a couple of useful birds for the BIGBY list so, saying goodbye to the Chapmans and Chris Craig, I head off that way after having a quick celebratory coffee at my B & B and after photographing some of the artwork painted on the wals of the same...

          The cycle ride is flat and pleasant and I pass a Pontin's Camp where back in the late 1990s my late wife, Karen and my two step children, Claire & Sarah and I, enjoyed a week in April. Snow, Wookie Hole and holiday camp fun! Lovely to have memories of such a happy time together, the black & white photograph of we four dressed as Victorians, taken with an old Flash, bang wallop camera comes into my mind.

          Brean Sands and the female Black Redstart* is soon found and that and a couple of Rock Pipits* go down onto the BIGBY bird list. 

          The rest of the afternoon is spent exploring the area. An overwintering Ring Ouzel had been seen here but the field it frequented was being ploughed whilst I searched for it.

           Three young people beside the beach were from Worcester; Karen who worked at a GP surgery there, Steph a midwife and Paul who ran a Flying Tiger shop there. Sunshine People!


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