Sutton on Sea / Mablethorpe 6/10/12

Decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone on saturday the 6th – excuse the pun! Karen & I went to Sutton on Sea for a couple of hours on the sea, mainly to look to see if we could spot the 3 early landing Snow Buntings seen earlier on in the week.

Sadly no Bunting seen but as it was a glorious day we had a good wander on the front to see what was about, at first glance not a lot, but then a couple of white shapes flew across the beach right to left, as it was high tide when we arrived it did not take long to walk from the prom towards the breaking waves.

Once there I was greeted by around 100 Sanderlings 🙂 so I got busy snapping away, below a selection of images I got, hope you like!These wonderful birds allowed me to get to as close as around 25 feet to the nearest one in the group but no closer, they were constantly making their sweet little piping call and as most were on only one leg and resting they hopped in unison out of the way of any rogue waves that headed their way!

I went back to speak with Karen all full of beans with my close encounter with the Sanderlings and we both then heard a screeching noice, we looked toward the beach huts to witness a Sparrowhawk taking down an adult Starling and below a couple of shots of ‘real life’ that panned out before us, the Sparrowhawk was going away from me but still a special to watch!
Karen my ‘expert spotter’ then saw a Seal very close to the shore, at first she felt it was a man swimming such was the size of the Seal. It was fishing very successfully I might add for flatfish, much better than the fisherman on the beach not 100 yeards away! I got a few pics of this my second happy hunter of the day, one of the pics below.

Now while I was watching the Seal next to the breaking waves I saw in the distance a dark looking bird on the water, I snapped a few shots off to check it out when I got home and from the image below I am pretty confident it is a Red Throated Diver, a first for me 🙂 please let me know if this is correct or not.

Next I looked back at the beach southward and by this time a small group of Black Headed / Herring Gulls plus a lone Common Gull had formed and in this group was a trio of nervous Sandwich Terns, yet another first for me in the UK, wow this was getting good 🙂
There was a lone Ringed Plover in with half a dozen Sanderlings on the outskirts of the Gull group for a while too and I managed to get a shot of it before it flew southward down the beach to join another small group of Sanderlings in the distance, photo of this bird below …
We moved onto Mablethorpe in time for the compulsory fish ‘n’ chip dinner and birdwise not a lot was seen, plenty of Gulls the odd Pied Wagtail were seen along witha good number of Starlings that the Sutton on Sea Sparrowhawk had not yet got to!  I got a few nice shots of the lovely looking adult Starlings in the bright sun, a shot below,

So all in all a great day out with 2 new species to me both seeing and photographing, just now wondering if my next visit to this part of our conty wil be so entertaining!

4 thoughts on “Sutton on Sea / Mablethorpe 6/10/12

  1. I like your pictures, sorry you didn’t see the Snow Buntings they were showing down to 6 feet and would have made excellent subjects, they may have moved down to south Sandilands as they have done in previous years to feed on grass seed instead of Crane Flies if they haven’t been eaten by the Sparrowhawk.

  2. Stunning shots Steve !! As Geoff said its a shame you didn’t connect with the Buntings , I would like to see your shots of those.

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