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Purple on the rocks

  I have the real pleasure of writing my first blog post of 2022 about a trip to Battery Point, Portishead, Bristol to photograph Purple Sandpipers (Calidris Maritima). As many of my readers will know I love waders probably above all bird species and so when I had the opportunity to get some pictures with my good friend Paul Joy of this rare, specially protected and very confiding wader species that winters in the UK coastland I was really excited. Up until this point I had never seen a Purple Sandpiper. They are small waders, bigger than a Dunlin but slightly smaller and less robust than a Turnstone.  They migrate to the UK in the winter from as far away places as Canada, Greenland, Svalbard, Fennoscandia and Russia. They then spend their time along the coasts roosting and feeding on various rocky outcrops. They have a preference for rocks covered with seaweeds where they forage for insects, molluscs and crustaceans. They get their names because of a Purple sheen that can be seen in t

Lofty and Gibble

Lofty and Gibble made an appearance at Goldcliff Lagoons this morning. They are Common Cranes and were bred as part of the Great Crane Project.

The birds were given coloured rings as chicks and as a result you can visit the projects website and discover information such as its name, sex and date of hatching.

Lofty (male) has red blue and white rings and hatched on 21.04/2011. Gibble (female) has red blue and black rings and hatched 22/04/2012.

The Crane projects began in 2010 and its purpose was to reintroduce the Common Crane and led to birds being hand reared at WWT Slimbridge and before being taken to RSPB's West Sedgemoor Nature Reserve in Somerset where they were eventually released into the wild. Theres is a lot more information on the website which I encourage readers to visit.

I was thankful today that one of my birder friends pointed out the fact that the birds were on site. They must have been in the very long grass when I looked ;).

Fantastic birds to see. They hung around in front of Hide 1 in the lagoon and on the island most of the morning before flying off when a farmer turned up on the reserve edge on his quad bike.

They circled back around the reserve and headed off towards Red barn.

Lofty (male ) Common Crane

Gibble (female) on left and Lofty(Male) on right

Lofty and Gibble take to the skies

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