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WEATHER; very high winds and lots of rain showers – some sunshine in the afternoon but not much.

You can’t find or watch many birds when the wind is gusting at 80-90 kmph! The best we could do was to find sheltered hedgerows and such like and hope for the best. We set off just after breakfast at 8:30am and before we had walked 100 meters we found a sheltered hedge where a Whinchat was trying to catch insects, not a bad start.

We walked down the hill to Lower Moors passing through the ‘Standing Stones’ field and found nothing there. The hide at Lower Moors was empty for a good reason, there wasn’t a single wild bird present in the wader scrape or the pool, just a bunch of dodgey looking Mallards.

Our walk up to Carreg Dhu (black stone in Welsh) Gardens produced a sighting of a fly-over Pink-footed Goose a quick shot from Phil’s camera confirmed its identification. In the wind-swept gardens we found two Firecrests right at the entrance and a Goldcrest further into the gardens. Other birds seen were just common garden species.

a heavily cropped record shot taken by Phil Naylor of the Pink-footed Goose

A timely stop at the café at Longstone gave us shelter from a rain storm and a nice cuppa with a slice of cake. We then walked through Holy Vale and never saw a bean. We ate our lunch in the Stephen Sussex Hide whilst watching Teal, Greenshank (3), Mallard, Moorhen, Coot and a Kingfisher. We were really hoping for a sighting of the Pectoral Sandpiper which had been there for a week or so. News came through that the Pec. Sandpiper had flown to Lower Moors where we had come from this morning, doh!!

Euraisan Teal on Porth Hellick Pool

oue view form the hide at Porth hellick during the rain storm


Kingfisher - perched just a few meters from the hide at Porth Hellick pool and captured by Phil Naylor

A tremendous down-pour occurred whilst we sat in the hide and 10 minutes later blue sky appeared and we had a spell of sunshine, what a wonderful transformation. It remained windy as we walked to the Porth Hellick beach where we found Northern Wheatear, Ruddy Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Curlew and several Greenshanks. Sue then picked out our second Whinchat of the day and we had a distant view of a Glossy Ibis (this bird had been seen in flight many times over the last two days but no-one had seen it on the ground).

Common Snipe at Lower Moors

To finish off the afternoon we walked back to Lower Moors to look for the Pectoral Sandpiper and luckily for us it had remained in situ. A Common Snipe joined it as they fed on the far bank of the pool in front of the hide.

two pics of the Pectoral Sandpiper, taken from the hide at Lower Moors

The clouds came over again and rain began to fall, we walked to Porthloo Beach, some of the group went back to the guest house and five of us soldiered on. At Porthloo we saw Sanderling, Curlew, Oystercatchers and Turnstones, lots of Black-headed Gulls, Shags and Cormorants, Rock Pipit and a White Wagtail. Scanning out to sea we picked out a few Cory’s Shearwaters beyond the very turmoil surf.

The last leg of our walk took us passed the Rubbish Dump where a Common Rosefinch had been seen yesterday, it was too windy there so we didn’t spend a lot of time looking. Back at the guest house at 5pm gave us an hour to get changed for dinner, we were all tired after a second day of completing 17,500 steps!!!