Saturday, August 25, 2012

Greenshanks & Turnstones

There were at least 3 Greenshanks on the Western Yar Estuary this morning.

These two Greenshanks were at Kingfisher Bridge (the same place as the Common Sandpiper yesterday). The darker one is almost certainly a juvenile. Notice how it continually gives out its strident 'tew tew tew' call. Before I left the Bridge the lighter individual was calling, too, its call being softer and not so deep.

These two Ruddy Turnstones were foraging in a party of four close to the Yarmouth road bridge. One of them has still got some of its beautiful tortoiseshell breeding plumage. I love the way in which they headbutt the fronds of wrack aside to get at the tasty invertebrates messing!

I was really struck by the beauty of the Sea Holly growing on the dunes at Norton Spit. Surprisingly, it's a member of the Carrot family with a deep taproot. The photograph doesn't begin to express just how dramatic the metallic blue colour of the developing flowerheads is in this plant that is a favourite of flower-arrangers everywhere. In Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff declares,

            "Let the sky rain potatoes;
            let it thunder to the tune of Green-sleeves,
            hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes [sea-holly],
            let there come a tempest of provocation..."

It felt a bit like that in the wind today!

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