Shellness again…

The tide is forecast high again at 1:30pm and at 10:00am the waters are well up with just a fringe of mud and bays half-filled. The wind is from the north and the blockhouse provides shelter and a view of the shore. The oystercatchers are already neatly regimented on the ness and Brent geese slowly walk the shore like beachcombers. Large flocks of knot and dunlin appear from the sea and some join the oystercatchers and the rest flock on the small spit in front of the blockhouse. The knot shift constantly on their feet, with heads up and alert in a sort of mass follow thy neighbour reminiscent of the huge flocks of soda lake flamingos; the birds are alert, constantly lifting off and wheeling over the sea before retracing their steps and dropping down in a well-ordered procession. The oystercatchers don’t budge, only move along the ness in a thin blue line to avoid the rising waters and the large waves that crash on the shore. Eventually, the little spit gets washed over by the sea and the flocks of knot and dunlin disperse. The dunlin form a thin line on the beach edge between the blockhouse and the hamlet; the knot disappear to another roost perhaps on the far side of the ness. The dunlin are still skittish but after leaping into the air they quickly circle round and return to forage whereas the ringed and grey plovers hold their ground. For short periods the sun lights the little birds and the mud brown, crashing waves. The tide rises but never breaches the ness and the saltmarsh is saturated but not drowned. The water rails and voles are safe today.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sherry Felix says:

    Wow! What a huge number of shorebirds.

    1. Steve Parr says:

      It is a wonderful sight…

  2. Great pictures.

  3. Steve Parr says:

    Thank you.

Leave a Reply