Saturday, 2 October 2010

Trow Quarry

Today was my first trip to Trow Quarry. The site features so much on Bird Forum that I decided some time ago to pay a visit; I just took a long time to fit a visit in.

The Quarry walls and bushes yielded very little. A flock of 20ish Goldfinches, a few Linnets and at least four Robins 'ticking', one Song Thrush and a few Mipits and that's about it.

I met three guys for whom Trow is their regular patch. They had visited at 7:30 am  and also saw little then. They pointed me towards a spot where two Black Redstarts had been earlier. We spent a few minutes contemplating a Black Headed Gull that seemed to be smaller headed and slighter. One of the guys has shots on his massive lens, so time will tell. I carried on watching after they moved on and convinced myself that it was just a BHG after all.

 Walking the length of Trow, I then turned my attention to the cliffs and the sea. A Red Throated Diver was close in and gave good views between impressively long dives. Fish occasionally jumped out at sea and I wondered what may lurking below the surface to cause this. Or was it just exuberance? Can't say that I have ever seen an exuberant fish!

I found the two Black Redstarts. They were very active; flitting back and forth across the rocks. Jackdaws and Carrion Crows were busy foraging and displaying. A Sprawk put in a brief appearance and drifted away towards Marsden.

On the shoreline and rocks at the north end of Trow, there were good numbers on Turnstones, a few Oystercatchers and Redshanks and a single Wheatear. They were joined by four Purple Sandpipers.

I enjoy seeing Purple Sandpipers and I contemplated why this might be. After all they are just greyish purple and do little more than poke at mud! I then recalled a discussion about forty years ago with a friend who had one of the first records (or perhaps the first record) of Purple Sandpiper breeding in the UK. This had been on a remote mountainside in the north west of Scotland. I am very fond of this spectacular, remote and peaceful part of Scotland and perhaps the sight of Purple Sandpipers causes an unconscious link with memories of my time in the wilds of Wester Ross and Sutherland.

I witnessed several Cormorants catching good sizes fish. This is obviously a rich coastline and it deserves its SSI and Ramsar status. Two Red Breasted Mergansers dropped in a then took off towards Sandhaven.There were a few auks at sea; probably Guillimots and Razorbills, but most were far out and I had decided to go sans telescope, having intended to bush watch and not sea watch.

I had an enjoyable four hours and I will certainly return.

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