Monday, 9 September 2013

Pectoral Sandpipers in Lothian

More of a Speck Sand than a Pec Sand - its the  smaller wader on the left hand side of the group of three with the, err..., distinctive pectoral band... honest!

Dave A has found another yankee wader at Musselburgh - an impressively regular happening. Today's bird is a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper. I don't think you'll find any helpful features in the shots that I took of it roosting in among the Redshank at dusk! This is Lothian's most regular transatlantic wader and today's record is Lothian's twenty sixth. Records have been fairly widely spread although Musselburgh and Tynningham/Belhaven Bay account for over half of the records. More than half of the records have occurred since 2000 and this, no doubt, reflects increased observer awareness and improved optics. I'll be replacing my Kowa TSN4 shortly, which has given me many hours of active service, and I'm hoping that my new Meopta will boost my chances of adding this species to my feeble 'found' list...

Here is a chart showing arrival dates of new birds (black bars) and longer stayers (open bars). Note that each month is divided into thirds. The average length of stay recorded is 4 days, though 10 birds were recorded on only one date.

             July                     August                September                October                 November 

All four July birds were adults and all records later in the year have been juveniles. All records that I can find on SOC and LBRC webpages are listed below.

Tynningham/Belhaven Bay: 7 records
(10 Sept 1961, 16–18 Sept 1983, 14–15 September 1999, 24–25 August 2005, 2–4 October 2005, 3–10 September 2006, 22 September 2011)
Musselburgh: 6 records of 7 birds
(4–5 September 1987, 19–20 September 1996, 15–23 July 2004 (2), 12–17 July 2007, 13 September 2010, 9– September 2013)
Aberlady: 2 records
(10 Aug 1948, 16 Oct 1954)
Gladhouse: 2 records
(19–28 September 1997, 16 October–9 November 2003)
Gosford: 1 record
(19 Nov 1955)
North Berwick: 1 record
(16 August–1 September 1974)
Cobbinshaw: 1 record
(11–14 October 1975)
Linlithgow: 1 record
(16 October 1977)
Bavelaw: 1 record
(10–12 September 2004)
Lochhill Flood, Spittal: 1 record
(25 September 2005)
Cramond: 1 record
(26 July 2009)
East Fenton Farm: 1 record
(19 September 2010)


Stuart said...

I think your pic could be a little bit "noisy"! Seriously though, I'm just jealous as I dipped on it.

Morg said...


Are you sure that your monitor is calibrated correctly!

Nice skua pics on your blog btw