Thursday, 4 September 2008

Dawlish Warren - Semipalmated Sandpiper!!

If yesterday was one of the 'lows' of the year, today was destined to be one of the 'highs' - wasn't it!! I was at the reserve for 8.30 and with the tide rising, made my way to the beach.

The SemiP was associating with Dunlin and quite a few of these were flying in along the beach from the estuary, question was - where would it land? I chose a spot between groynes 10 and 11, mainly cos a flock of approx 40 Dunlin, Sanderling and Ringed Plover were there and scanned the group.....

Most of the birds were snoozing, not making matters any easier! Dunlin and Ringed Plover were obvious, the bright white underside of Sanderling caught the eye and then I noticed a much smaller bird ticked amongst the group - promising indeed!!

Eventually they woke! The size and plumage difference now obvious between the Sanderling on the left.

An obliging wingflap...

And then, the highlight - a good look at the webbing between the toes - most obvious between the outer and middle toes!! So now you know (if you didn't already) why it's called a Semipalmated Sandpiper!

It was now nearly midday and having been soaked by squalls twice, I was completely dried out. A call from Mike Stokes reminded me that the Tawny Pipit on Portland was still there - had I time though......

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