A common sandpiper
at RSPB Conwy Picture: DAVE WILLIAMS
The overall indicator masks wide variations in the fortunes of different bird species, with large increases in some upland and wetland species - for example buzzard and little ringed plover - balanced by severe declines in other species such as curlew and common sandpiper
A final trawl through Christine Jackson certainly confirms the suspicion that fact outstrips fiction, with names like watery pleeps for the common sandpiper
, which sounds like a pager dropped in a puddle, or, for the same bird, skittery deacon, with its overtones of clerical misbehavior in Trollopeland.
Since the construction of the islands, there have been record bird sightings of up to 1,000 lapwing, 300 golden plover, 200 redshank, 100 snipe along with healthy numbers of other waders such as dunlin, ruff and common sandpiper
Population increase (and breeding success) of the little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius; 50% increase), sand martin (50-100% increase), common sandpiper
(Actitis hypoleucos; 15% increase), kingfisher and white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) (30% increase);
The January census showed 14 migratory species, including the little egret, intermediate egret, great egret, gray heron, common teal, northern shoveler, tufted duck, common kingfisher, common sandpiper
, wood sandpiper, northern pintail, garganey, whiskered tern and the eagle-like eastern marsh harrier.
Reader Gwyn Harrison saw one chase a Grey Wagtail at the Afon Glaslyn at the weekend, and they have also been recorded pursuing Chaffinch, Wren, Common Sandpiper
and Dipper at other sites.
At Conwy RSPB there are currently three common sandpiper
chicks feeding along the edge of the reeds and with a watchful parent on guard with a loud "weeeee" whenever a predator gets too close they all run simultaneously into the reeds for safety.
This year he has watched waders such as curlew, lapwing, redshank, common sandpiper
, oystercatcher and little ringed plover breed at the reserve.
Bardsey had its first autumn "fall" on Monday, with 42 Willow Warbler and 15 Common Sandpiper
But an adult water hen, common sandpiper
and even a fully grown carrion crow were on the menu.
Ahead is Harbottle Lake - which may have waterbirds such as teal, gooseander, common sandpiper
A sandwich tern on the Dwyfor estuary near Criccieth on the 15th and a common sandpiper
at Menai Bridge on the 10th are early records.
Little ringed plover and common sandpiper
fed on the mud when I visited, but there was no sign of the recent Temminck's stint.
KenHortonwas delighted to see a common sandpiper
on the drained lake in Liverpool's Sefton Park.