An awkward moment

For once I went out in the morning today! It was calm and cold, with a breeze that was noticeable but not too annoying.

I parked at the beach car park in Wells in order to look over the sea and the channels from the harbour. The tide was going out and it’s always amazing to me how quick the flow of water seems to be.

From near the new Lifeboat Station I saw a grebe in the water just beyond where the old Lifeboat Station used to be (it was demolished last year), and so I walked over to the corner of the beach where a couple of other birders were scanning the area. The grebe turned out to be a great crested, but there was some excitement when we saw a small auk in the channel and one of the birders commented that he thought it was a little auk – a bird I have never seen. There were a couple of minutes of tense observation before we realised that it was in fact just a juvenile razorbill. An awkward moment (pun intended!).

The juvenile razorbill that – until it came closer and could be seen side on – tried to make us think it was a little auk!

There were plenty of other birds around though, including three red kites a couple of female eider ducks and – very nice to see – a pair of red-breasted mergansers.

A male red-breasted merganser (photo taken 2019)

Waders were very much in evidence on the gradually extending sandbanks; curlew, oystercatcher, turnstone, sanderling, grey plover, ringed plover, lapwing, black-tailed godwit – all feeding on the newly revealed land. There were also plenty of Brent geese and cormorants to complete the list for the morning.

No new species for November 15th:

Birds = 227
Moths = 256
Wildflowers = 290