I was checking the 17th series of high-pitched squeaks of the afternoon in the Sycamores at Cabin Hill when my phone buzz buzz buzzed.
New fangled communications are an incredible thing – it was a message from Mike Stocker, far away on the Isles of Scilly (up to his oxsters no doubt in Cedar Waxwing and other goodies) imparting the news that Stuart Darbyshire, Pete Kinsella and Mark Nightingale had found an American Golden Plover AND a Long Billed Dowitcher on Crossens Outer over the high tide.
Much as I enjoy sifting through Goldcrests in the shrivelly canopy (one day there’ll be a marvellous surprise amongst ’em, one day), two Yankees at Marshside were too good to ignore, so I speed-walked back to the car.
The marsh was enjoying a mini-twitch when I got to Crossens Outer, but there was just enough space to squeeze my car into the pull-in and I joined the crowd (there were at least seven people).
Great finds by Stuart and co, the American Golden Plover was preening and running around about 200 metres out from the bank amongst Golden Plover and Lapwings, while the Dowitcher was at interstellar zoom ‘scope range by the time I arrived, but still given away by its sewing machine feeding action and dirty great long bill as it scurried amongst a group of dozing Pinkies in the wet grass, often disappearing from view.
I managed a few full zoom with a bit of added zoom record blurs of the AGP in the afternoon gloom, but the dowitcher was way, way beyond my range.
It has been a long time (or it feels like it at least) since I’ve seen either species at Marshside, so both together was extra special.
Thanks once again to Stuart, Pete and Mark for putting the effort in (and thanks to Mike for the long distance heads up).