0445 and the rain set in long before sun up this morning – and kept on coming throughout a Dawn Chorus event I led down at Sands Lake very early doors.
Didn’t take long before even the most Paramo-ed and Goretex-ed of those who turned up were drenched to the skin, but top marks to everyone who stuck it out until 0730, and tried to look interested as the rain sluiced off their bins and I attempted to explain the finer points of phyllosc wing formulae.
Nothing unexpected, but Chiffies, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler were giving it the beans despite the downpour.
A Common Sandpiper was whirring about the edges too.
Afterwards I drove up to Wheatear Corner for a glimpse of the marsh before brekkie – a single Whimbrel and an interesting looking pipit that soon dissolved into just a very pale Mipit as the rain intensified was all I could pull out of the murk.
I swung round and zipped onto Plex before coffee cravings won the day – 12 Whimbrel out there and several truly soggy Wheatears was the best of a wet job.
Once me kit had dried out and I was fed and watered, I popped out onto the mosses again late afternoon with bright sunshine bouncing off vast swathes of rapeseed oil on the Withins, Stock Doves, Lapwings and Wheatears, while Haskayne Cutting had plenty of Orange-Tips hurtling round from clump to clump of Cuckoo flowers, Peacock butterflies, Tree Sparrow, Chiffies and Blackcaps, but not a great deal else.
Just needed those Dotterel to realise the error of their ways and make the short flight from Wirral…how inconsiderate can a wader be???