Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Marsh Sandpiper- A 1st for Gloucestershire

With news having emerged that a bird very high on my wish list had been found the night before, hasty plans were made to head down the next morning to see it if it had stuck around.
The bird in question, a rather stunning looking juvenile Marsh Sandpiper had been found the previous morning, feeding on a flash that had developed in the corner of a flooded field adjacent to the Severn Estuary just outside Frampton on Severn!
Needless to say, I was rather pleased the bird had turned up so close to home, being just over an hours drive away, and when news came up about the birds continued presence the next morning, we were soon on our way.
An hour and a half later and the flash was in view and a quick scan across the flood revealed a rather distant diminutive looking wader. The MARSH SANDPIPER!
It was actually everything I had hoped, a very pleasing and good looking bird. It's delicate bill and legs matching to well to its dainty posture and gaint, completely unlike that of the adjacent Greenshanks and Ruffs around it!
Infact I would compare it to be more like a Lesser Yellowlegs then any of the other more common European wader species! Unmistakable.
Juvenile Marsh Sandpiper flanked by 2 Ruff
Marsh Sandpiper and Ruff (On the deck) with Greenshank and Ruff (Flying)

 Marsh Sandpiper, showing slightly more detail to it's plumage

With the target bird having been seen, we were also entertained by a good variety of other birds. The rare Tringa was associating with a very good sized flock of waders, with 9 each of Greenshank (My largest every flock size) and Ruff alongside a Green Sandpiper. 3 Pintail joined the Teals in dabbling the shallow water.
Scanning of the estuary led me to pick up a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, sitting out on one of the exposing sandbanks as the tide dropped.
While we were watching the waderfest, news came through that a Black Tern had been found at Upton Warren, and as one of our group needed it for the year we decided to head back up there.
To cut a long story short, we broke down, we were left by Jarad who went on to successfully see the Black Tern as we were luckily being followed by Rob (who we had met at Frampton) who ferried him the last mile to the Moors Pool as we awaited a car fix.
A few hours frolicking about the Motorway, and later the Mcdonalds and we were on our way.
Guess what.
We saw the Black Tern in the end!

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