Surprisingly good

Wasn’t expecting much as I pulled into Hesketh this morning at 6am, but hadn’t visited for a couple of weeks and I get withdrawal symptoms. As I put the scope together 6 runners came down the bank chatting away – a friendly good morning and a joke about hoping they’d not scared everything off – as I say, expectations low.

A quick scan of Shelter though produced a black blob at the rear of the pool, and maybe it wasn’t going to be a dud after all. The scope confirmed a breeding plumage Spotted Red – what a stunner. Back early so probably a failed breeder, but it certainly made me forget the early morning chill.

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A couple of Eider were also on the same pool – great to see them up close rather than distantly on a spring tide (pic from mid morning when the sun had come up!).

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I carried on up the bank, already happy with today’s haul, when I noticed a smaller, pale wader in with the many Redshank. I watched it on and off for an hour, it never came close, but it did make a couple of short flights – a non-breeding plumage Curlew Sand – brilliant. We don’t get to see this plumage much so it was enjoyable to watch. Nice super, quite big looking against the Redshank, longer curved bill and white rump all on display.

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Carrying on, another small wader was roosted up on the bank, it couldn’t be another could it? It spooked and then relocated to another pool – yes, another non-breeding Curlew Sand. How odd! This one only had 1 and 1/2 legs so found feeding difficult. This bird was closer than the 1st, but not as striking an individual. The heat haze now ruining most of the photo’s.

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A Greenshank called and flew through, and then out of the blue, an adult Spoonbill dropped in for a feed – this day was getting better and better.

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The Arctic Terns look to be doing well. 3 chicks on the rafts and another 2 nests on the ground. One narrowly avoiding disaster as a group of cows were scared of by the male’s persistent dive-bombing.

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3 flyover Yellow Wags added to the excitement as did a Common Sand on Shelter as I returned.

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Pete and Andy arrived just as I was finishing up and we had the Eiders and Spotted Red again, before I left them to it and went for a look at the Terns on the docks. Nothing unusual, but the 4 Arctic nests still going strong. A great place to practice tern flight ID.

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Back home and for a pretty unsuccessful go at hoverfly photography in the garden. A couple here:

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Interrupted by the House Martin’s alert calls revealing this Sparrowhawk overhead.

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Who said June birding was boring? Oh yeah – it was me………..

One thought on “Surprisingly good

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