2010 News

A Quiet Week

Roosting Purple Sandpipers, Portrush
Evening Photoshoot 2
Working along the North Coast on Wednesday allowed me to again visit Portrush. A quick search of Ramore Head drew a blank on Lapland Buntings so it was off to a nearby wader roost on the rocks on other side of the Landsdowne car park.

The birds here are used to humans and some days, especially when it's bright and calm, will allow close approach.

There were seven species of wader on show, mainly Turnstone and Ringed Plover with smaller numbers of Sanderling, Oystercatcher, Redshank, a single Dunlin and small flock of one my favourite waders the Purple Sandpiper.

This a medium sized shorebird with a down curved bill and short yellowish legs. It is bulkier and darker coloured than the more common Dunlin. It is a frequent winter visitor to North Antrim, usually feeding on rockier shores eating insects and molluscs, but also some plant material . The bird breeds on the Arctic Islands of Canada and on the coastal parts of Greenland, though a few pairs have nested in the Cairngorms of Scotland in the past.