Sunday, August 28, 2016

Reculver - Baird's Sandpiper

Today was a mega day!  A day full of Waders.

The Baird's Sandpiper at Coldharbour Lagoon gratefully remained into the weekend.  A 25 minute walk from the Reculver Towers car park along the Viking Trail to a modest stretch of pools located between the path and the river wall.  En route, a surprise Great Skua flew west close into the shoreline momentarily dropping onto the calm waters before lethargically heading off west.

The Lagoons held a small selection of waders including six Ringed Plover, Redshank, Greenshank, Little Stint, two Dunlin, and of course our American friend.  The bird showed brilliantly despite the disturbance of passing cyclists and vocal birders that included myself and Adam Hudson whom I was thrilled to meet.

We both headed back seeing Yellow Wagtail, a single Northern Wheatear, and a Turnstone posing on the exposed rocks.

After a late lunch and cake in Margate with Kat and her friend, we headed over to Oare Marshes.  This place is insanely good.  A festival for Waders.  Waderfest.  The East Flood was packed with waders, everywhere, and with so much variety.

Most numerous were Black-tailed Godwit, but the highlight were a dozen or so Curlew Sandpiper, three or four of which were still holding onto their precious summer plumage.  Such little crackers.

Two Little Stint flew in, but the wader selection included conservative counts of 15 Avocet, single Green Sandpiper, crazy numbers of Redshank, maybe 20 or so Spotted Redshank, 10+ Ruff, 5+ Bar-tailed Godwit, 10+ Golden Plover, 20+ Dunlin, and a single Common Snipe.  This put my cumulative wader count over the course of the weekend to 19 species.

Then there was the little matter of the returning adult winter Bonaparte's Gull that was casually feeding on the shore left exposed by the receded tide.

Work can be a frustrating place to be when the joys of the natural world beckon, but the odd weekend like this can provide the perfect anti-dote to corporate incarceration.

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