14th September 2011 – Manx Shearwater and showy Wheatears

My rest day today so I did a bit of local birding. First stop was to check some flooded fields near Whitrigg, and I’m glad I did as there were two Ruff showing reasonably well…

Nearby at Anthorn several hundred Golden Plover entertained, but despite my best efforts all I could find amongst them was a juvenile Grey Plover and a handful of juvenile Knot. There was also good numbers of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. There really should’ve been at least one Buff-breasted Sandpiper there as well – it certainly looks the most likely place for one of these beauties I reckon, and they do seem to be everywhere just now. An hours watch from just west of the viaduct produced a summer plumaged Red-throated Diver, a few auks and a Manx Shearwater sat on the water. The Railings had a small wader roost which included one Curlew Sand and a quick look at Port revealed a Little Egret. A few Wheatears were also about, reminding of a bizarre sighting yesterday. Whilst driving my bus round Gretna Gateway car park I suddenly noticed a juv Wheatear hopping around between the cars before flying right in front of me and landing on the kerb. A couple of today’s Wheatears showed nicely and I enjoyed spending some time with them trying to get some decent photos…

So still no scarcity or rarity in Cumbria – seems to be about the only county that doesn’t have something good at the moment. Just one accessible Buff-breast would do please….

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