Sunday, 4 November 2012
A few Ness Point goodies
On Saturday 3rd November, I arrived at Ness Point at 9am in the morning and saw some birders scoping 2 Purple Sandpipers by the defence rocks just left of the finger. A further 2 Purple Sandpipers were then seen on the top of the large boulders amongst a group of 5 Turnstone behind the ledge just right of the compass, so 4 Purple Sandpipers in total. On checking the tamarisk bushes, I could see no initial sign of the LW, until I spied some birders gathering by the Tamarisks by the seawall near the southern walk entrance to said wall. A bird flew back into the Tamarisks bordering Birds Eye and eventually it was seen deep in the bushes in particular skulking around the barer branchy bit of the bush, showing on occasions briefly, it was the fine Lesser Whitethroat, looking typically like a normal one. Grey above, white below and browner (earth brown) back. It then flew right, started "takking" and then showed briefly on two further occasions, once out in the open for around 10 seconds! Some birders walked south along the Point and I saw Jeremy G, who was keen to get further views of the bird. Unfortunately, the bird was becoming more difficult to see or even locate, I had only had one further glimpse. It appears to favour the Tamarisk opposite the southern entrance walkway to the seawall and up to the staff entrance gate for Birds Eye. By now I had given up all thoughts of trying to photograph it, perhaps my last chance this year for this species? I met the birders on their return walk from the old Coastguards and they pointed out they had just seen a confiding Snowie by the aerial. A good find. I drove straight round and found Danny P and his 2 children, plus Barry W digiscoping the excellent Snow Bunting. It was feeding between the cracks of the pavement on the raised path at the most southerly tip of the point bordering SLP and next to the cabin there. It flew up the SLP wall and I was just about to photograph it, when a dog walker walked up the wooden steps and flushed it, it flew north. I thought that was it, until Danny P had it feeding around the weedy margins of the concrete floor slabs by the aerial. Another passer-by flushed it back to its original area. A few minutes later it was flushed again by a walker going up the steps and it returned to the area by the aerial. With the others, I tried to get some pics, but wasn't very happy with the results, until it did some wing stretching. When all the others had left I stayed, the sun came out and the bird showed particularly well down to 10 feet right in front of my car and feeding along the weedy perimeter of the blue western most fence. It was nice just to watch it without it being disturbed by anyone. Then some teenagers arrived on bikes and started messing about by the aerial, flushing the Snow Bunting onto the wall just left of the wooden steps, Andrew G then arrived and I pointed the Bunting out to him before I left.