Monday, 6 October 2014

Quality wader

6th October - following a wet and windy morning, I took my lunch break just as the rain was beginning to subside.  I donned my wet weather gear and went to the pit to search for some 'good' birds.  I didn't see anything much on my first look from the west side other than a small flock of 12 Wigeon, which were new in.  I looked through the geese for possible wild ones, but only found the usual Bar-headed Goose, pretty, but not what I was after.  A look at the meadows revealed very little too, so I continued along the south bank to look at the east side of the spit.  There were 5 more Wigeon sitting on the water, so that made 17, a small influx, but there was nothing on the spit other than BHG and a couple of Herring Gulls.  I wandered back towards the car stopping to look at some vocal Goldcrests and a Chiffchaff and as I neared the viewpoint I took another look at the birds on the west side of the spit.  Almost immediately I clapped my eyes on an Avocet that was wading up and down the edge of the spit feeding away and seemingly catching quite a lot of tasty morsels.  This is a good wader for the site and represents about the 4th record (I think).  I wondered whether I had missed it amongst the BHG when I had arrived or whether it had flown in whilst I was in the meadow - it is surprising how they blend in amongst BHG.  I grabbed some record shots in the poor light and was thankful that it wasn't too far away, as it was constantly moving so difficult to get in focus.

Whilst watching the Avocet, a Water Rail flew past me along the bank towards the NW corner, which is my first of the autumn/winter.

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