Yes, I have remembered the birding tasks I set myself earlier in the year, and today I took a brief trip to Blacktoft Sands RSPB to get one of the birds on the list – avocets.
To be honest, this was a pretty easy one. The first two hides had good amounts of black-tailed godwits, dunlins, ruffs and redshanks, but no signs of avocets. I was starting to wonder how easy they’d be to find, but I needn’t had feared as the third hide along had scores of them. And just as I focused my binoculars for a better look, they scattered, due to two marsh harriers swooping menacingly across the sky. Avocets and marsh harriers in the same field of view? Doesn’t get much better.
Watching for a while longer, I was lucky enough to see the marsh harriers acrobatically exchanging food midair, and a pair of avocets defending their fluffy chicks from herons and black-headed gulls which were keeping an ominous watch. I also got a great view of some reed warblers, a bird which doesn’t give great views very easily.
Sadly I missed out on some of Blacktoft’s other star attractions – bitterns and bearded tits – but I think the avocets and marsh harriers more than made up for it!
We had a brief trip to Hornsea afterwards too, and watched cormorants flying overhead, and common terns plunge diving into the sea.