Sunday, 20 July 2008

Minsmere - White-rumped Sandpiper

An invitation to speak to the Mid anglia AGS group in Suffolk was complemented by an enjoyable stay with good friends, good food (and a good opportunity for birds!) Having ticked Stone Curlew (three in fact) on the way down at Weeting Heath....









A break from things horticultural was planned - Minsmere beckoned for the Sunday!

The presence of a White rumped Sandpiper during the previous few days was an additional lure, I wasn't going to be prised away that easily!!

We planned to take in the whole reserve, a lot of walking and I had plenty of kit to yomp around. There were plenty of waders (Spotted Redshank/Redshank, Black tailed Godwit....






....Ruff, Knot, Dunlin etc) seen from the East hide but no White rump! Distant views of a Bittern gave a year tick and then another at the South hide - a single Roseate Tern on the deck. The West hide added Greenshank (below) and Common Sandpiper to the wader list.






No shortage of other Terns all over the scrapes - good numbers of Common/Sandwich/Little.






Common Tern were closest - seen here in flight and perched.....








Lunch was memorable for reaquainting myself with after many years and nearly eating a whole Battenberg!

Refuelled, we made our way to Bittern hide which maybe needs renaming 'Marsh Harrier', a very obliging pair of youngsters gave close views flying by......









The Island hide was memorable for good but brief views of Bearded Tit, another Bittern......






I checked out Birdguides on my mobile - 'White rumped Sandpiper on scrape from East Hide Minsmere'!!!!!! OMG I had nearly two miles to walk!

You can walk two miles carrying kit in less than 30 minutes. Looking into the sun, I got my first glimpse of the long bodied outline.....






Pheeewwwwwww, it was still there and it did fly a little nearer with a group of Dunlin, good for size comparison, never close enough though and strictly record shots.....












Now then, Norfolk tomorrow - I wonder what's on offer??

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