But, and a BIG but, the west wind has blown. Remnant hurricanes have produced the usual line up of yank wader 'freshers' that line our west shores. We've had loads of Buff-breasts and Pecs - 8 Buff-breasts today on St.Mary's could possibly be the prelude to proving Roker Martin wrong? Or will - as is often the case - autumn die on it's arse? So often I (and we, collectively) get worked up by these early low pressure systems that rip across The Atlantic in the first 2-3 weeks of September. And, essentially, all it's given me in terms of pure gold is Purple Martin (though the recent St.Kilda Blackburnian Warbler would have done too). But I do love September, as there's nothing quite like a bit of fresh yankage. Eye-balling those lost waifs that have made it from The Arctic just a few weeks after hatching. For me, there's nothing quite like it.
|American Golden Plover & Buff-b Sand, Carrahane Sept 2008|
|Buff-breasted Sands at Carrahane... to be expected in September|
I stayed in Tralee, a decent base to explore either Dingle or The Iveragh, and a better base for Carrahane, Black Rock and Blennerville. All places I've had success at in the past. And I opted for Dingle on both days - keep the faith is something I've said a lot of times about the place. You'll go there and there'll be very few waders about but the quality always strikes. So I kept the faith and scoured Ferriter's Cove, Smerwick Harbour, Ventry, Burnham Lagoon and Trabeg at varying tidal states. 5 non-descript waders flying in off the bay at Ventry should have been Buff-b's but the blighters were Ruff; and a further 2 Ruff were found roosting on the beach at Smerwick - only to be replaced by a juv Semipalmated Sandpiper the day after (yesterday), presumably courtesy of Katia.
|Semipalmated Sandpiper, Ventry - back in the day|
|Baird's Sandpiper, Black Rock Strand - back in the day|