Tuesday 1 October 2013

A trio of waders

A brief visited to the patch tonight after work netted me a trio of waders. A tip-off about two little stints from Scotland Gate's second best wildlife tour leader* had me heading for the Oddie hide. Straight from work in shirt and smart(ish) strides and only carrying my bins was not the best approach, especially as martin was leaving, with his scoped I hoped to borrow, as I walked towards the hide.

I soon picked up four waders on the far bank, two were dunlins, two were smaller, presumably the little stints. I couldn't year-tick them on these views, they could have been anything... Luckily they were spooked and one of them, along with the two dunlins landed on the shore in front of the hide, but not for long, before they all flew back tot he far side. As I was closing the shutters to leave, I spied a wader still on the shore, something new though, a juv curlew sandpiper, which must've just pitched in. It was 2009 the last time I saw either of these species on the patch, 2009 was a golden year for waders at Druridge as the Budge fields had been well grazed and there was mud for much of the year.

The third wader species was added to the year list I walked through the weedy dunes at the north end looking for ground dwelling species. I saw three waders fly onto the fields where the flash pond used to be, further inspection showed them to be grey plovers. They didn't hang around though, flying off north towards East Chev. Not an annual species at Druridge so another nice addition to the year list.

There were no passerines of note tonight, despite me giving the weedy dunes a good thrashing.

155 little stint
156 curlew sandpiper
157 grey plover

157 is the average year-list total for Druridge so, October going to plan, this could be a record-breaking year (that's jinxed it).

* Scotland Gate's best wildlife tour leader is of course Martin's wife, Sarah!

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