Saturday, 22 September 2012

A Tick at Last


 

 

It was rather chilly on the Ramp just after 6.00 this morning with a fresh Northerly blowing straight through. Not much seems to have changed with 6 Wigeon amongst the 400+ Teal, 7 Black-tailed Godwits still present, the long staying Ruff still wandering around and a Garganey close in. The first of 6 Water Rails called from the left side of the pool and as I watched 2 Spotted Redshanks amongst the Godwits a Common Redshank walked in to view and a Little Stint dropped right in the centre of my scope. A new species for me for the year I watched scurrying around before noting it in my book turning to tell Alan as he approached, looked back and couldn’t find it! Two Green Sandpipers flew out to the east from the Feast hide direction. A nice surprise was the discovery of a tiny Bank Vole running around our feet for ten minutes at first light, a delightful little creature. 
Bank Vole at 1/50th of a second
Marsh Harriers started leaving roost with 5 out by the time we left the Ramp, a Little Egret and 3 Snipe were all that were noteworthy from Feast hide while other than 6 Teal the only bird at Harrison’s hide was a Green Sandpiper. Walking through to Marsh hide we added nothing but the odd Sedge Warbler and Goldfinch, Marsh hide was birdless and very little of note through the Alder Wood. We met Tim and Andy in the Reedbed hide where we eventually saw a Great-white Egret fly in and land out of sight before shortly after another flew towards us before turning and flying west towards Collard’s followed by what was probably the third bird. A brief Kingfisher never allowed any photographs but a high Osprey east at 9.00am flushed the lake and allowed a couple of record shots.
High flying Osprey
Three more Marsh Harriers were seen here as well as another Green Sandpiper and 3 more Black-tailed Godwits. Alan and I carried on along the Lampen Wall past the lake where we had another view of one of the Great-whites, yet another Green Sandpiper on the far side as well as 1 Pintail and only 3 Pochards, although 5 Great-crested Grebes were still present. The “Jungle” just before the river was sheltered from the wind and in the warm sun held a good few Chiffchaffs and as we neared the Water Meadows 2 Hobbies flew past. We met up with Philip Parker along Harrison’s Drove waiting for Bearded Tits to show and, although many were seen and heard, they never posed for photos like they had for Steve Ray only yesterday, perhaps the stiff north wind was un helpful in this matter. A last look from the Ramp added a Common Sandpiper and Common Buzzard but still no further sign of the Little Stint. The three of us then decided a trip to Backsand at Sandwich was in order to see if the 2 Pectoral Sandpipers were still present despite negative news from two birders who had already been this morning. At Backsand after a short while one Pec was located on the far side (north side) with a Dunlin so with the thought of a potential photo for Phil we trundled round to the other side where we had both the adult and juvenile Pectoral Sandpipers plus 2 Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper. One Pec was with a Dunlin to our left and a bit distant (for photos) while the other Pec was with a second Dunlin right in front of us, only problem was that the sun was shining brightly directly above and in front making most photo attempts in to silhouettes. On leaving a couple of Hares were bounding across the field.  
juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper

juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper

juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper with Dunlin

juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper with Dunlin

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