It was suggested that with the easterly winds, it could turn out to be a good weekend. We could have been tempted to stray away from Staffs this weekend, but we were scared of something turning up. So we played it safe and stayed local.
We started off at Blithfield. We basically sat in Tad Bay for about an hour. Slightly unseasonal were a pair of Pintail present. The pair of Black Swans were also still sat around the huge nest they've built. Other than a single Barnacle Goose, it was quite quiet. Summer birding appears to have started early this year.
Then we headed off to Branston. There had been a bit of stuff turning up in the week here, and we were full of hope. No sign of any BLACK TERNS on the first pit, but the remaining pair of Black-necked Grebes were still present. The Sandy Pit was quiet, and infact the whole site was quite lifeless. Maybe this was due to the baking hot sun that was slowly turning me into a red blister. I managed to make the trip just about worthwhile with a Greenshank on the scrape - a nice spring wader to get.
Greenshank at Branston
We returned to the car and recovered from our walk in the 40⁰C heat. Walking round sandy gravel pits in the baking mid day sun always saps you, and today was no exception. We studied the pager to find our next location, but we drew a blank. Staffs was having a quiet day. It was 13-00hrs, and we almost headed for home.
In the end we drove to another pit. I'd only just started walking round when news of a TEMMINCK'S at Belvide came on. Just to sort of bird we'd hoped for. I decided to carry on with walking round the pit, and go to Belvide afterwards. Then news came of a SANDERLING at Blithfield, plus a whole host of waders at Drayton Bassett. Stuff was finally turning up.
We arrived at Belvide almost two hours after the new came out. Kev Clements was kindly keeping a watch on the Temminck's Stint, and we were soon enjoying watching the bird.......feeding on the far shore, quite a distance away. At least we'd seen one decent bird for our efforts. We returned home, hot sweaty and quite red.
Temminck's Stint at Belvide - copies of photo available (only £8-50 each)