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Clyde Estuary 3nd Jan 2013
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Post Clyde Estuary 3nd Jan 2013 
 
Fresh from my accidental winter thrush survey in lanarkshire, and as Boss chick hadn't recalled me yet, I decided to head down to the CLyde Estuary, to a couple of place I visited a few months ago.  I resisted the temptation to go to Ardmore point, as I wasn't sure I wouldn't get lost, and the sites I had on mind are actually on the A8.

Anyway, as this was done on a whim, I hadn't checked the tide times.  Tide was rapidly coming in when I got to the first place, West Ferry.  Large flock of Mallard surfing the tide upstream, but very little else.  Disheartened, I drove the couple of miles to Parklea, where I'd seen Greenshank a few months back.  Anyway, tide roaring in now, plus the wind had picked up.  Not much about, but having driven there, and having spent more time driving than birding, I decided to make the most of it and walk round to Finlaystone Point, or as far as I could get given the elements.

Anyway, not much moving on the sea, a few gulls.  As I moved eastward along the path, though, did get my first coal tit of the year, plus a treecreeper.  I then spooked the only redshank that hadn't noticed high tide, and it flew a few hundred yards upstream.  Followed it carefully, trying to ignore how squelchy the ground was.  As I was stading scanning the reeds for it, I saw what I initially mistook for a mallard sitting just off the shore.  Second glance, saw a bright white chest, dark head, and white stripe- Pintail!!  My second ever, and first on on the sea. The previous one had been a view of its a*se at Baron's Haugh.  This looked like a pair, as the drab female came out after him.  Stood for about 15 minutes watching him, having forgotten completely about the redhsank.

By this point, I was actually sinking, and the spray from the tide was hitting me (I was about 20 feet away from the shore, the birds were about 200 feet along the shore) and I decided that discretion was the better part of valour.  Got back to the car to see a wave breach the wall and splash the car.  Given that I'm a farmboy, who hates the sea, etc, etc I got off my mark pretty quickly and skelped back along the M8 dreaming of green field far from the ocean.

Stopped off at Hogganfield to get tufty, greylag and goosander being fed pan breid, and made my way home- tired, muddy, but happy.

Lesson for today- other than checking tide times.  I recognised the pintail as a result of sitting on many an evening reading through bird books, looking at pictures, photos, etc.  There's an awful lot to be said for learning before doing.

A happy day all told.
 



 
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Post Re: Clyde Estuary 3nd Jan 2013 
 
That's pretty good Green Sand.  This is the 2nd of January and we now know what you're going to see tomorrow. Are you having a senior moment, maybe!
 



 
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dear lord, is it only the 2nd?  

I turn 40 this year, I should be savouring every day, not skipping them!!!
 



 
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Green Sandpiper wrote: [View Post]


I turn 40 this year, I should be savouring every day, not skipping them!!!


Me too, but not til November, although that doesn't make it any more bearable!.

Well done with the Pintail. Did you call at Erskine Harbour? A pair of SpotShanks and a Greenshank have been reported there recently.
 



 
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Hi Bongofury,

I was tempted to call in at Erskine, but in the end didn't bother.  The wind was getting too strong for my comfort, so passed on it.  Next time I'll maek sure I check the tide times, and don't spend an hour wandering ainlessly around Lanarkshire trying to remember where I was meant to be surveying.  Roll on a strike day!!!

(My b'day is the 4th of November, Boss chick is giving me a daily countdown, bless her.)
 



 
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My birthday 29th of this month but not telling you what age,  You are going to be 40 whit just a mere boy.  There's an area down the clyde next to the M8 thats supposed to be very good for wintering Greenshanks and it says you have to keep an eye on the tides, have read it somewhere, will try to find and let you know where, but not now of to bed for my beauty sleep. Aye thats right back at work now so very early rise. Slainte. Macrude.
 



 
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Post Re: Clyde Estuary 3nd Jan 2013 
 
cheers Macrude.  Safe driving.

(ps.  40?  With my body, its no' the years, its the mileage.  and the one careless owner...)
 



 
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Green Sandpiper wrote: [View Post]


(My b'day is the 4th of November, Boss chick is giving me a daily countdown, bless her.)


27th for me. The boss chick knows not to rib me - I'm already grumpy enough to be 50.
 



 
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Post Re: Clyde Estuary 3nd Jan 2013 
 
Hi All,
it's like a boys club, I turned 69 to-day.
baraband.
 



 
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happy birthday baraband.  

You're right, I'm a mere slip of a lad.  Luckily, my immaturity will keep me perpetually, er, immature.....
 



 
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Congratulations, Baraband!
 



 
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Post Re: Clyde Estuary 3nd Jan 2013 
 
Happy Birthday Baraband.
 



 
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Post Re: Clyde Estuary 3nd Jan 2013 
 
The area for wintering Greenshank is as follows- It lies between Parklea and Finaystone Point on the south bank of the Clyde east of Port Glasgow.  The shoreline varies in how suitable it is for walking along, and it is important when planning a walk to know the "Time" of the "HIGH TIDE" (Greensand take note) see www.bbc.co.uk/weather/coast and select TIDE tables, then Scotland, then Greenock,Port Glasgow or Bowling.
  West Ferry-Parklea: This stretch is another potential walk, though sections between West Ferry and Langbank and Langbank and Finlaystone Point are only accessible at low or a falling tide. "DO NOT ATTEMPT DURING THREE HOURS EITHER SIDE OF HIGH TIDE."
  Also Greenshank have been seen at Newshot Island.       Newshot Island is accessible from Erskine. From the M8 Junc 30 take the M898 (Erskine Bridge rd.) and take the first exit. At roundabout turn right and follow the A726. Turn left at the 2nd main rounabout (signposted Erskine Swimming Pool). Turn left at the next roundabout and after 300m there is parking on the right. Walk east along the Clyde walkway for about 600m to get to the viewing point.  Alternately park at the Bridgewater shopping centre and walk east along the pavement for 300m to the Newshot dr entrance to the LNR.    maps- Glasgow St Map (partial coverage)  OS Landranger 63 and 64, Explorer 342 and 347. Hope this info helps got it all from a book  "WILDLIFE AROUND GLASGOW"  although have been at these sites before in my mud plugging days, you have to be careful re tides especially at the Findlaystone one.  The park under the Erskine Bridge is a good bit to view the river from and you can walk a bit west of it as well.  Birds you can see depending on time of year are Greenshank,Red-throated Divers,Cormorant,Eider,Red-breasted Merganser,Grt crested Grebe,Oystercatcher,Curlew,Black-headed Gull, wintering Slavonian Grebes,Redshank,Teal,Wigeon,Shelduck.      Whimbrel,Goldeneye,Scaup congregate to feed offshore during April early May.   A scope could be needed in case birds a bit offshore.      Ooops nearly forgot belated Happy Birthday Baraband.   "Long live immaturity it keeps you young".  Macrude.  
 



 
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Post Re: Clyde Estuary 3nd Jan 2013 
 
Macrude - thanks for the info. Sometime over the next few days I'm going to go and try for the Spotshank at Erskine Harbour. I presume I would be best parking near the bridge on the south shore and look in that area?
 



 
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Post Re: Clyde Estuary 3nd Jan 2013 
 
Head as if you are going over the Erskine Bridge from M8. Take last exit on left before the bridge, turn right at first roundabout, go straight through the second then take first left and continue to bottom where there is a car park/picnic area on left.

Hope this helps. If you have a scope check out the far bank of river as there is often a Med Gull there!
 



 
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