Monday, 5 September 2016

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Marazion Beach

Today I had the chance to get down to Cornwall for some sea watching, having missed out on an excellent weekend of large Shearwater action down there.  I will cover the sea watching in another blog post (I left home at 03:20am so have run out of steam now!), but I must just share this stunning bird with you...

This ladies and gentlemen is one of the finest waders in the world, in its finest plumage. It is a juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper and has been on Marazion Beach for the past few days.

It's spending all its time feeding on this patch of weed near St. Michaels Mount...

And is allowing pretty close approach...

Which means even hopeless idiots like me can get semi-decent pics of it...

Just look at that. Look at that!!!! The colour of it, those beautiful silver edged mantle feathers giving it a scalloped appearance, that big black puppy-dog eye, the teeny tiny bill and that gentle head shape. And as for those vivid yellow legs.... Oh yes.....  And add to all of this, it's smaller than a Turnstone! A work of ornithological art.

And here's some (rather shaky - it was windy!) video of it...

This small patch of weed on a very busy beach was amazing, with several hundred waders feeding on it...

Mostly Dunlin and Ringed Plover, several Turnstone, a few Sanderling and singles of Little Stint and Curlew Sand. This Curlew Sand...

Check back tomorrow for the sea watching news from my Cornish jaunt (unless there's loads of birds about on patch!).  Talking of the patch, an Osprey was seen over the Axe at 16:30 today, and I had two juvenile Bar-tailed Godwits on the river this evening.


  1. Great shots Steve,looks like we shared the same Beach,I'm kneeling down in the water.
    Great bird.

    1. Hi John. Oh no, I'm gutted I was so close to you but we never spoke or met! We all need to wear hats with our names on, that would make it easier. It was indeed a great bird I cant wait to look at your photos of it. All the best, Steve.

  2. What is the name of the bird in the 7th photo down in the background?

    1. Hi there. That's a juvenile Ringed Plover. Best wishes, Steve.

  3. Hey Steve, From your description of the Buff-breast plus the posts about Marti (& Honey!) I'd say you're about ready to become a dad. Any news on that?!