Finally got the yearlist rolling again this weekend, with a couple of decent local birds.
I made a later-than-usual start yesterday morning – this was associated with the fact that I’ve just passed six years in my current job, and a small celebratory trip to the pub became a rather larger event than planned on Friday night… A few of us enjoyed a superb meal at The Don in the city – recommended for a special occasion.
Anyway, when my head had recovered sufficiently, I headed out to Abberton to see the Spotted Sandpiper in Peldon Bay. Everyone knows Abberton is pretty large, but this bird must have chosen just about the furthest point from any access – right out on the eastern edge. (Approx TL996184, c20 minutes walk clockwise around from the dam). The sandpiper is relatively skittish, but shows well from sensible distance – features noted included strikingly bright yellow legs, plain tertials, short tail barely extending past the primaries, and a pale pinkish base to the bill. Obviously this stunningly sharp photo shows all that and more…
After studying this for a while, I headed down to Rainham on a Serin hunt. In the last couple of hours of daylight, I couldn’t find one. Happily, though, a return visit this morning produced two birds, showing quite well at times. For anyone thinking of visiting, they’re frequenting the west end of the reserve, just around the NE side of the tip. More top quality photos illustrate the brighter of the two:
As is often the case with a decent bird at Rainham, it presented an opportunity to catch up with a few friends from around the area: I enjoyed chatting to Adrian, Steve and Tony, and then a gossip with Howard back at the visitor centre over a mean sausage sandwich!