Sunday, 8 September 2013

Ruff Justice

8th September - I cycled to the pit this afternoon with my daughter.  Not long after we had arrived, a large black cloud rolled over and a heavy shower started which lasted a good 10 minutes or more.  Fortunately the trees on the western bank gave pretty good cover, so we only got slightly damp.  During and immediately after the rain stopping, no hoped for migrants had been forced down at all.  We ventured to the pit edge to avoid the drips now falling from the trees and a scan around revealed 2 Wigeon as new arrivals, the continuing Common Sand, Snipe, adult YL Gull and juvenile Common Tern, which was calling frequently.  The adult Dabchick was also in front of the spit and has been seen a couple of times recently, along with 3 Pochard, 3 Shoveler and 20+ Teal.

Whilst watching the now familiar party of 3 Black Swans swimming by, we were joined by Dave C and later Mick M and were lamenting the lack of new birds.  Mick M had to leave and 10 minutes later I was about to leave as well when I saw a wader flying over fairly high to the east having come over the STW.  Due to its size, I suspected a Ruff and looking through my bins confirmed this, the first Ruff I have seen here for 3 years.  It flew around a couple of times and made two passes at the spit, looking as if to land, but each time it accelerated away, like a plane missing its landing spot.  I think the large flock of gulls on the spit were putting it off.  Eventually, it flew off high to the north and I watched it disappear, so unfortunately, no record shots, but it's nice to get another year tick at last - it's only been 5 weeks since the last one!

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