Saturday, August 28, 2021

White-tailed Lapwing

 The weather forecast for Thursday 26th was a stronger north to North-easterly blowing right down the North Sea with cloud in the morning; interesting seabirds occur off the Yorkshire coast with regularity but Lincolnshire's gently sloping beaches need some more weather to produce any chance of a notable seabird; maybe this was worth a look? by 08:00 I was in position with Roger and John already there; it rained all the way down through the Wolds and by the time I hit the coast at Huttoft it was distinctly windy and must surely be bringing down some goodies? an hour later and with only a handful of Arctic Skuas, several 100 Sandwich Terns and two Purple Sandpipers to show it seemed like we needed to punish ourselves and look at Birdguides to see what we weer missing in Yorkshire and Norfolk but No Signal was the response so we continued the agony - about 30 minutes later John's phone suddenly located some 4G and a check of Birdguides mentioned a White-tailed Lapwing at Blacktoft!!!! -- I double checked that this was not a wind up - just across the Trent from Alkborough where wader numbers had been building all week and the site looked really good - surely this mega would only stop at Blacktoft for a short spell before seeing the error of its ways and relocate to Alkborough? Abandoning the seawatch was not a problem but where to go? although separated by less than 300m of water driving from one site to the other involves a 21 mile journey via Keadby Bridge, the nearest Trent crossing. If I drove to Blacktoft and it flew to Alkborough, Lincolnshire of course and a prospective new county bird, I would have to do a quick return which could potentially see me missing it at both spots! News from Blacktoft was that it looked settled so the decision was made to head there then having passed sunny Scunny news that it had flown off - Oh No which way now? Then it was back but distant from Marshland hide. OK so carry on toe Blacktoft and mop it up at Alkborough later. Arrived and located a parking space and after a few minutes was in Marshland hide and having good scope views but too distant for any decent photos. By lunch time I was just about to leave when it flew and was relocated from Townend hide - a quick jog and it was amazingly the closest bird - fired up the R6 and just as I got in the hide if flew, fired off a few shots while avoiding people's heads and trying to stop falling over  and it thankfully landed again. Panic over and static shots obtained but the killer shots are the flight ones and the chances were that all the ones I took were going to be rubbish - eventually dared to look and found that not only were most sharp but the bird's pose was also good with a visible eye; job done now for Alkborough. Three days later it remains at Blacktoft so a tame Peregrine probably needed to usher it eastwards --- 

My previous encounters with this long legged wader are distinctly few; one at Eilat on March 21st 1980 was followed by a different bird on March 31st 1980 then one at Eilat on March 31st and April 1st and 3rd 1984 while my only British encounter was long range pretty unacceptable views of a bird at Leighton Moss on June 16th 2007 

White-tailed Lapwing, formerly White-tailed Plover is a truly rare bird in Britain with just five previous birds prior to 2021 when one occurred in Kent on June 2nd - the first was in 1975 with subsequent birds in 1979, 1984, 2007 and 2010 

First views from Marshland were good but photographically it was far too distant for my set up; 

When it moved back to Townend it was much closer but you were of course looking down on the bird somewhat but hey, beggars etc


It is when it opens its wings though that this bird becomes a bit special


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

white sky Bittern


waders on the move

a local flock of 17 juvenile Sanderling at the weekend was truly exceptional but there seems to be a high percentage of juveniles in most wader flocks thus far this autumn - a selection from the last few days

Thursday, August 19, 2021

juvenile Sanderlings

 first encounter this autumn with lovely juvenile Sanderlings on the lincs coast but in some truly dire light

juvenile Kittiwakes

 during an albatross free period took a few images of the juvenile Kittiwakes practicing their first flights around the cliffs