Wednesday, 6 September 2017


My second visit to the patch since my holiday was a quick one before work on Sept 1st.  I didn't see much out of the ordinary on my initial scans, though at this time of day from the west bank, viewing is always difficult as you are looking into the sun.  I made my way down the bank to get a more northerly view in better light and began scanning the birds on the spit again.  It was at this stage that I noticed a medium sized, long and straight billed wader on the far side of the spit.  Distance and lighting were not in my favour, but it looked good for a Spotted Redshank.  It promptly disappeared behind the bank, so I had no choice but to walk around to the southern bank to get a look up the east side of the spit.

It took a few minutes to get there, but when I did, the east bank was a awash with geese and I could see no waders at all!  Unfortunately the main island creates a large area of hidden spit behind which was presumably my bird.  I began to walk back, scanning as I went and eventually found the wader walking along the southern part of the spit.  Now in good light, but still distant, it was clearly a juvenile Spotted Redshank.  I tried taking some record shots, but at distance, it was pretty hopeless.

I decided to walk back around as the bird was now probably closer to the west bank.  However, as I made my way up the west bank, it took flight calling.  I could hear it calling and defining its southward path, but could not see it, but it decided to bank around and landed on the spit in front of the island - distant again! The bird was becoming quite edgy and began calling quite a bit and then took flight again.  This time it landed closer to the near spit where I was able to get a better record shot, albeit into the sun.

I had taken far too long and work beckoned so I had to leave.  The Spotshank was still there when I left, but 10 minutes later when Jim R arrived, it had gone.  It was obviously not happy and had continued on its way.

Spotted Redshank is pretty scarce on patch and this is only my second record following a moulting adult in April 2013.  Funnily enough, another juvenile turned up this morning (I should mention London buses now....), which was not there when I checked in the morning, but was found by Alan S at 10am.

1st record at huge distance but shows open wings

Closer and slightly better but into the sun