Visit to Sunderland Point
Saturday, 11 September 2010
We were lucky to have a warm, mainly sunny day for this walk round Sunderland Point. We started at Potts Corner, Middleton, and walked along to the point. Although there were not many birds around, no-one noticed because our guide Alan Smith entertained us with tales of the history of the village and its present struggles for survival, also accounts of what it is like to live in a village which is cut off by the tide twice a day. After rounding the point we were more sheltered and butterflies began to appear (we saw Small Copper, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Painted Lady and Speckled Wood) and waders were easier to see along the edge of the incoming tide. (Mainly Lapwing and Redshank with a few Turnstone, Ringed Plover and Dunlin) After lunch we were invited to see Alan and Cynthia's cottage and garden They have a freshwater well 25 feet deep only yards from the sea! This year Tree Sparrows nested in their garden, which is surprisingly sheltered.
Walking back along the more exposed salt marsh as the tide reached 9.9 metres, we watched thousands of Oystercatchers and hundreds of Shelduck and Curlew clinging to the tiny ridges of marsh until they were finally pushed off by the tide. Then as the tide fell again, there were 50 or more Ringed Plovers and the same number of Dunlin feeding close to the shore.
At various times during the day we had sightings of raptors, including Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Hobby. The latter was only seen by one (excellent) birdwatcher who was unfortunately not in a position to call attention to it!
Many thanks to Alan for a most enjoyable day.