Friday, 23 September 2016

Baird's and Buff-breasted Sandpipers

Apologies as it has been a month since my last posting and even I want to hear about what's been happening recently. I'll just stick to the main birds for this blog and cut out the amusing stories and japes that we get up to. 

Sometimes in life son you struggle, and September 10th was one of those days. We just didn't know where to head. And then something turns up and the whole day falls into place. And when news came from Upton Warren that the BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was still present, we headed down to Worcestershire for only my second ever visit to this reserve (of course my previous visit was in 1988 for the Least Sandpiper)

The hide was a mixture of Staffs and Worcs birders; the Staffs birders were busy discussing the finer details of the identification of the wader while the Worcestershire boys sat there with their crayons occasionally grinning and pointing at eachother. The Baird's Sandpiper showed continually on the far side, distantly and in poor light, but I still managed to get these full frame shots (just move closer to the screen for even fuller frame shots)

Baird's Sandpiper in Worcs. My first in the WMBC

The following Saturday we headed off to Anglesey where a WRYNECK was showing on and off at Cemlyn Bay. We were almost at the end of the A500 when news came from South Yorkshire that the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was again present. Now this was a tick for CJW and so it was logical to head over there. Despite visiting the Isles of Scilly for every year from 1951 until 1990 where his Aunt Hilda Quick lived, CJW had never seen a BBS there. This was due to him being banned from going anywhere near the golf course on St Mary's after Hilda got struck on the head by a golf ball one visit when she was collecting birds there for her new hat
Here is the young Chris in 1954 with Hilda and the other members of the Scilly Womens Bird Federation and one bloke (Is it Wetherby or Audubon or Col. Charles Observers-Book maybe)

Anyway, we arrived at Hatfield and due to previous experience of the place, we easily found Packards South this time. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper was showing well at first, but we were looking straight into the sun. Then it flew, and with the light behind us we did have some excellent views.   

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Packards South, Hatfield Moor NNR

We headed over to Spurn where there had been a decent spell of seawatching. By the time we arrived at the Bluebell Cafe, the passage had eased slightly, but we still managed five Sooty Shearwater, a few distant Manxies and two Arctic Skuas.