Thursday, 23 June 2016

Big weekend continues with Broad-billed Sandpiper at Newport Wetlands

Broad-billed Sandpiper (left)
Broad-billed Sandpiper (left side on)
Comparision with Dunlin
File image
Little Egret
Wood Sandpiper

At the end of an epic day in Norfolk last Friday, Roland (Major of Warwick) predicted the weekend northerly winds would blow the reported Broad-billed Sandpiper to Slimbridge ready for a morning visit. I could hardly believe my text alert the following morning saying "How right was I about the Broad-billed Sandpiper?" I quickly finished off the patch before assessing the chances of success given the bird was actually in Newport & not Slimbridge. Ptttttttttt, needs to improve accuracy of those predictions.

Roland didn't need much convincing however we knew the time gap would be limited as the birds stay would depend on the tide. Thankfully I'd been to Goldcliff Pools before so we made the journey in quick time. The M50 is certainly one of the nicest motorways to drive down in the UK. 

On arrival, we shuffled as quickly as hernia's would cope with before making the viewing platform where we could be our bogey bird the Broad-billed Sandpiper. These Sandpipers are traditionally seen mostly on the east cost and do move on with tide so very difficult for us midland birders to see. These birds breed up in the taiga and winter in east africa or south Asia. 

The bird fed on the other side of the lagoon island with a small Dunlin flock but could be easily picked out with the scope. The birds bill was very distinctive being longer & straighter than the Dunlin but having an downward kink on the tip. My images are quite distant so I've also added a file photo which then enables you to see the bird better on my shots.

Whilst on site it was good to witness my first Wood Sandpiper of the year, a Greenshank, plenty of Redshank & Little Egrets. Another top morning out allowing me to get home to watch the cricket at Feckenham & Roland time to do his list of chores.

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