Picked up Bazzo at lunchtime, but with the temperature becoming perilous for ice creams, bedding plants and choccies, we agreed the best thing was to head for somewhere with at least a semblance of breeze (not that we had any ice creams, bedding plants or choccies – but you can’t be too careful).
Hesketh Out Marsh it was then, which gave up the fine full-on summer plumage Spotted Redshank (but not right away), single Arctic Tern, 20+ Little Egret, 40+ Avocets, Red Admirals, Meadow Browns – and then, Help Ma Boab, a troublesome wader on the same pool as the adult SpotRed.
Conveniently it was partially hidden at first behind a spit, but appeared to be an adult Spot Red either coming out summer plumage or completely failing to get into it in the first place.
So far so good, but PROBLEM!!! The bird had a clearly upturned bill with no hook on the end and there no hint of any supercilium business going on – this sent my sun-boiled mind racing, even after it wandered off to show long, long, red legs, no white in the wings and totally SpotRed jizz…I’ve never seen a SpotRed without a clear hook at the end of the bill.
Wrong size with the wrong coloured legs for any of the more interesting tringas, it was way too hot for hassle like that today.
Both birds were distant (however the hook on the summer plumage bird was clearly visibly at the same range – leave it John!!!), and grudgingly we put the weirdy one into the SpotRed camp.
Bazzo had the wisest solution to the bill problem as we barrelled back towards Southport with the temperatures soaring and clouds of dust billowing up in the rear view.
“It probably snapped off”, he sagely declared.
So two SpotReds and an Arctic Tern, a few Dunlin, Lapwing, Redshanks, hordes of Little Egrets and Avocets and a juv hyperventilating Cormorant….very nice.
Marginally cooler last night, when Dempsey Towers enjoyed an excellent moth haul at the trap, including two Bordered Sallows.
Over 120 moths in the trap, including perennial faves like Buff Arches, Spectacle and Figure of Eighty, but just one hawkmoth – a Poplar.
Equally exciting was an Orange Ladybird (halyzia sedecimguttata), a beastie I have never seen before, but is spreading steadily northwards.