Jeff Clarke Ecology
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Sand and Snow

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All images unless otherwise stated © Jeff Clarke 2011

On Saturday 22nd January I joined my Wilmslow Guild Adult Education participants as I led them on a day bird watching along the North Wales coast. We started at the delightful, if slightly incongruous setting, of Rhos on Sea. A genteel Victorian seaside resort, the town makes a great location for a spot of wader and seabird watching. The incoming tide soon drove an impressive number and variety of waders close to the sea defences, where they eventually took refuge from the innudation. Among the regular waders such as Ringed Plover, Turnstone and Dunlin, we were lucky enough to find a couple of Purple Sandpipers.
We then repaired to Llandulas for a spot of lunch and a bit of scoter watching. On the water here we found Greater Scaup, Red Breasted Merganser, an obligingly close Razorbill and a goodly number of Red throated Divers. A fast moving boat far out from shore displaced an astounding number of Common Scoter, I guesstimated a minimum of 10,000; a memorable sight!
Final stop of the day was Kinmel Bay in search of something a little different. We were not to be dissapointed. Among the dunes local birders had been inducing a small party of Snow Buntings to extend their loyalty to the spot by feeding seed on a couple of beached logs. A bit of judicious fieldcraft enabled me to get within photographic range without disturbing them. A fitting end to a very enjoyable day in the field!


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