Wednesday, 13 May 2009
A Trip to the Coast
Monday of this week saw myself and a friend heading for the coast. A trip of 17 Dotterel had been found on the mosslands of SW Lancs near to Southport. The dotterel that had so far passed through Lancashire this Spring had not hung around for long and this trip was no exception. Despite extensive searching of Plex and Halsall mosses no dotterel were found. We did however see a few Whimbrel and Corn Buntings and it was a very pleasant day in the warm sunshine. We spent the remainder of our time at the RSPB Marshside Reserve on the coast at Southport.
This proved a good decision as there was plenty of action as usual from waders and wildfowl. The Avocets at Marshside are the main attraction at this time of the year and there was much activity as they are mating, sitting on eggs, and already some chicks had left the nest. There is much predation here from Black Backed Gulls, Herons and Foxes which take many eggs and chicks. We were therefore fortunate to witness a chick having it's first outing as it took its first steps into the water closely guarded by it's parents. It was great to see how quickly the chick adapts to it's new world and it was wading and swimming and skimming the surface for food as well as any adult. Any hint of danger and the parents would call out and the chick would instinctively freeze until the parents gave the all clear. It was a delight to watch the youngster for half an hour or so and then the adults led their precious offspring back to the safety of the long grass in the meadow. What had started badly with no dotterel had finished on a high note as we had seen the avocet chick take it's first steps into its watery world. The images show some of the action from Marshside with the avocets in their spectacular fly pasts and the adult escorting the chick for his first swim.