Bird News from Jason Loghry with Nial Moores (on 21st)
On the 20th, heavy rain fell for most of the day. Upon arriving at Jaeger Point, to avoid getting wet, I set up at a café, and for a little more than three hours had good views of the passing migrants all heading south into the wind. Within that time, I counted 900+ Common Tern, 54+ Red-necked Phalarope, 18 Black-headed Gull, two Garganey and 650+ shorebirds including mostly Great Knot, Terek Sandpiper, Whimbrel, a few Far Eastern Curlew and Eurasian Curlew, Grey-tailed Tattler, some Dunlin, Grey Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, Sanderling, and Red-necked Stint.
On the 21st, rain was forecast for the morning. Instead conditions were a mix of sunshine and occasional heavy showers early on, clearing by 9AM with moderate (Force 4) southerlies. Together with NM, we arrived at Jaeger Point before 0730. We counted c. 210 Common Tern, one Aleutian Tern (an adult moving into non-breeding plumage, with a hint of dark seen on the underside of the secondaries and a pale area on the inner primaries: NM only), 5 Red-necked Phalarope, close to 30 Black-headed Gull, a single Barn Swallow and between 30 – 40 other shorebirds including Whimbrel, Great Knot, two Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and some stints, all heading south. Close to 10am, some construction workers arrived at the headland apparently to close-off the best watchpoint. This was our cue to change positions and head to the third floor of a local café for a couple of hours. From there, we saw an Intermediate Egret, c. 80 more Common Tern (including one “dark” bird that on head-on views might, or might not have been an Aleutian)and a good mix of shorebirds including Green Sandpiper (1), Terek Sandpiper (12), Pacific Golden Plover (7), Grey Plover (c. 10), Mongolian Plover (1+), Kentish Plover (1), Red-necked Stint (8), Long-toed Stint (1), Dunlin (15), Great Knot (5+) and more Barn Swallow (13), again all heading south. There were a few Black-tailed Gull on the rocks, and briefly a juvenile Great Knot, but sadly few opportunities for digiscoping.