Before I get on with today’s sightings, a quick postscript to the last post. Here is a picture of the elusive Edderthorpe spotted crake, not taken by me but by Dave Simmonite, who not only had the fortune to see it in much better light than my twilight encounter, but turned up at the flash to find it waiting for him (jammy get!). I’m sure Dave would be the first to admit it’s not going to win him Wildlife Photographer Of The Year, but the crake is a bird that few are going to get any more than record shots of, so well done for getting a snap!
Today I returned to the Dearne Valley to have a second crack at the pectoral sandpiper at Wombwell Ings. This time it didn’t take too long to find, thanks to other birders present, as it loitered on the opposite shore hanging out with a small gaggle of greenshanks and snipe. Despite being quite a bog standard Calidris wader in many ways, it stood out as something different, and I was expecting a very dunlin-style bird, but in fact its jizz was very different and I like to think I’d manage to ID one without much hesitation should I be lucky enough to stumble across my own.
Sadly it was too far away for a photo, as were the curlew sandpipers I saw next at Old Moor. Again quite distant views, these are mistakable for dunlin (of which there were 20 or more present), but their almost pure white undersides, taller and neckier posture and longer bills marked them out with a bit of squinting. It was a good morning for waders, with black-tailed godwit, ruff, common sandpiper, green sandpiper, lapwing and golden plover also present, as well as little egret.
Just to show I do still take my own photos every now and then (I need to find more photogenic birds to write about!) here are a couple of not-great shots of some more common birds.
Well over 50 species seen this morning, which isn’t bad going between 9am and 1pm. Here’s a full list…
Pectoral Sandpiper, Greenshank, Snipe, Curlew Sandpiper, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Kestrel, Canada Goose, Long-tailed Tit, Coot, Moorhen, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Tree Sparrow, Chiffchaff, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Gadwall, Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail, Cormorant, Starling, Black-headed Gull, Kingfisher, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Jackdaw, Magpie, Robin, Little Grebe, Swallow, House Martin, Linnet, Goldfinch, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Rook, Greylag Goose, Reed Bunting, Collared Dove, Little Egret, Carrion Crow, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Chaffinch, Skylark, Pheasant, Dunnock, Sparrowhawk