Sunday, 4 June 2017

Waders at Bay MacNeil

We were at Bay MacNeil this morning but, once down on the sands, noticed....

....several waders moving uneasily around the upper beach - almost pretending not to be there.

It was easy to find the reason for their furtiveness: it's the height of the egg-laying season.

This is the nest of an oystercatcher, no more than a scrape in the sand, with four eggs in it, though.... a little further along the beach only had two.

The oystercatchers weren't the only ones using the beach as a nursery. This nest is a little better camouflaged and it, too....

....contained four eggs.

We're very careful not to approach too close to the nests - there's no need to with a digital camera with a half-good zoom - so, as we walked on....

....the parents were quick to settle back on the nests.

The smaller eggs belonged to a ringed plover who, once she was back on the nest, was almost impossible to see.

We sat for some time on the rocks just watching the wildlife, and saw this wader feeding near the shore line. It hardly stopped but, when it did, it bobbed up and down. I think it's a green sandpiper.

It's a miracle that these birds manage to bring up their young in such an exposed place. While we were there, two sea eagles came over, pursued by crows which, in their turn, were pursued by the oystercatchers. Then there were people walking along the sands with their dogs, and this is an area which is quite likely to have mink.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see the waders laying again. Quite a few probably lost their nests due to the very high tides the week before last.
    Four eggs is unusual for an Oystercatcher - they normally lay two or three - so that's a good find.
    I'm afraid your Sandpiper is "only" a Common though :)

    Keep up the good work!