Further away

After the up close and personal encounters with Redstarts, Cuckoo and Stonechats etc in Surrey, and an early morning search for Dotterels (no joy as usual) on the mosses, I arrived at Marshside in time for the heavens to open today.
I sheltered in the wheels, occasionally wiping the windscreen to see Stuart Darbyshire doing exactly the same thing.
We waited for the ridiculous deluge to ease before scanning from Hesketh Road platform, as Swifts arced over while Reed Warblers, Whitethroat and Blackcap cranked up around the SSSI ditch.
Stuart quickly picked up a Wood Sand working its way through the vegetation to the left, a Little Ringed Plover winged in, and two Whimbrels dropped out of yet another shower.
A small pack of six Dunlin scurried about amongst the Blackwit, Oycs and Redshanks.
Not bad, and all too far away in the difficult conditions to try to photograph properly (the “Friends of Colin” would have hated it).
As usual this should have stopped me, but didn’t.

We began to suspect something wasn’t quite right as I described the Wood Sandpiper melting into the grasses behind the Whimbrel, only for it to show feeding 50 metres away a few seconds later…
Mystery solved when a second Wood Sandpiper emerged out of the greenery before disappearing again – just shows what can be hidden by the vegetation at this time of year!
Two Wood Sands, an LRP and two Whimbrel etc – a morning drenching was a small price to pay for a fine bit of wader action.

2 thoughts on “Further away

  1. To mark the creation of an important nature reserve – RSPB Hesketh Out Marsh at Hesketh Bank near Southport, adults and children alike are invited to join a day of family fun celebrations.
    The incredible site, which is part of the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve has undergone a transformation over the last decade from farmland back to saltmarsh. This rare and vital habitat is home to a rich variety of unusual wildlife and has huge benefits for people too, by reducing flood risk and capturing carbon to help combat climate change.
    Thanks to a partnership of the RSPB, the Environment Agency and Natural England, and generous support from WREN (granting funds donated by FCC Environment), this award-winning project to restore the land back to saltmarsh reached its final stages of completion in September 2017. Now, 18 months on, with the site looking its wild and wonderful best in spring, the public are invited to join in a day of celebrations.
    Tony Baker, Site Manager of the RSPB Ribble Reserves said: “It has been a long journey to get to this point, first with the restoration of the West side of the site in 2008 and now with the completion of the final piece of the jigsaw on the East side of the reserve. Thanks to all the partners and funders involved, the site now attracts thousands of internationally important birds such as pink footed geese and wigeons in autumn and winter, to nesting wading birds such as avocets – the emblem of the RSPB, and the song of skylarks in spring and summer.
    “Many locals have been enjoying visiting the site throughout its development but may not be aware of the significance of the habitat here. We’re hoping lots of people will come along to our ‘Saltmarsh Celebration’ event to discover more about the work that has gone into creating this special place and take part in our exciting activities to get closer to the wildlife that calls it home.”
    The ‘Saltmarsh Celebration Day’ will take place on Saturday 18 May from 10am-4pm. A whole host of free, drop-in activities including behind the scenes saltmarsh safaris, mud dipping and more will allow the public to explore the site.
    For further information on Hesketh Out Marsh, visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/heskethoutmarsh

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