We have had good numbers of waders on the Bay this winter. Numbers of Knot have been particularly noteworthy with a flock of 2000+ seen quite regularly. At low tide they can often be seen on the sandbar just opposite the piers in Findhorn Village. Black-tailed Godwit have also been present all winter, although only in small numbers. It is only fairly recently that these have been overwintering and are still a scarce bird to see in northern Scotland over winter. Bar-tailed Godwits though are much more common along our coastline and there has been a group of 100+ on the bay quite frequently recently.
The other main species of waders on the Bay are Dunlin (1200+), Redshank (650+), Oystercatcher (1300+) and Curlew (3-400). Most of these species are best seen in the southern part of the Bay at low water, particularly near water channels. Curlew though will feed fairly widely across the Bay.
Other waders to look out for in smaller numbers include Golden Plover, Sanderling, Ringed Plover and Turnstone.
Changes in wader numbers will start to occur in mid March as many of the Dunlin will depart. Oystercatchers will also start to disperse to their breeding grounds along with Curlew and a little later Redshank. Around April we can also expect to see influxes of species like Knot, Golden Plover and Ringed Plover on their migrations north to their breeding grounds.