Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Yank on the Beach in Pembrokeshire

The weather finally enticed me to get up early and head of for West Angle Bay in Pembrokeshire.  Thanks to Clive Hurford all were aware of a juvenile Baird's sandpiper on the beach there.  When I first arrived my heart sank.  the beach was full of people but worst of all a series of dog walkers.  I searched to the left of the car park as told but could find nothing.  I almost gave up but decided to retrace my steps.  Suddenly this delightful little wader appeared at my feet.

Juvenile Baird's Sandpiper
 This little stray from North America was extremely confiding.  Despite very irresponsible dog owners allowing their dogs to put up the bird when it was obvious I was photographing it thank goodness the waif always returned.  I did have some very strong words with a couple of dog walkers but they seemed completely ignorant at what was going on.

Juvenile Baird's Sandpiper
I have not seen this species for some time so it was great to be reaquainted.  Note the primary feathers of the wings extending way beyond the tail and the very "biscuity" colour on the head and back.  These features are key to identifying this bird.  Whilst I was there Barry & Sandra Stewart appeared and could not believe how tame this little bird was.  Thanks to Clive and all in Pembrokeshire for putting out the news of this bird and allowing us all to enjoy it.

Barry Stewart getting close
I had a quick look round east Angle Bay where I noted a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and a Mediterranean Gull.

Dunlin still showing some summer plumage
I finished up at Kilpaison and walked out amongst the waders.  There were at least 60 Dunlin and the same number of Ringed Plovers.  Two Turnstone and 3 Knot with about a dozen Sanderling were also in attendance.


  1. That wind was so strong it almost blew my hairpiece off! It was great to bump into you today, Sandra was telling me on the way up how disappointed she was that she never caught up with you at the birdfair - she never says that about me! Great find by Clive; Glamorgan's loss is Pembrokeshire's gain.

  2. Nice find. You may have memories (I think you were there) of the extremely tame juv. Baird's that stood next to a log above the rack line, on the beach at Cape May, for over a week.

    People had little more to do than take a short walk from the platform and the bird was never more than a few feet from his spot.

  3. I will be more mindful of the bird populations on beaches when I walk my dog from now on. Don't want a scolding from any avid birdwatcher or terrorized waders! Thanks for the lesson!