Friday, 10 August 2018

Friday 10th August

Middleton RSPB

This morning Joy and I were the first arrivals on the Car Park and pretty much had the place to ourselves for most of the morning. At the feeders the Water Rail was performing well but apart from Tits the feeders were quite quiet, not surprising for the time of the year.

The West Scrape was dead apart from a couple of Lapwing and a few Teal and a couple of Snipe. Between the two Scrapes a scan of the distant shorelines produced a LRP, Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper, I searched through the wildfowl in search of Garganey but could not connect. At the East Scrape both Wood Sandpiper were present, but fed separately, they were joined on the Scrape by 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe, Common Sandpiper and Common Snipe.

A couple of Egyptian Geese were present and there were @16 Common Tern and shed loads of wildfowl all in eclipse. We stopped at the two benches by the river and scanning across Jubilee I picked up the male eclipse Garganey feeding, pretty soon though it retired to the bank and went to sleep. Then a Green Sandpiper flew past heading towards the North Pit which was our next destination. We couldn’t locate the Sandpiper but with the vegetation there you could hide an Elephant! There were however a couple of Wigeon present, we made our way back seeing a Lesser Whitethroat, then as we stood on the canal bridge a Willow Tit popped up and gave us good but brief views before rejoining the roving Tits and departing.

Wood Sandpiper

Wood Sandpiper

Wood Sandpiper

Wood Sandpiper

Shustoke Reservoir

Having failed to locate the Black-necked Grebe for Joy last evening we went over again this evening after the rain. I scanned from the Car Park with my scope but drew a blank, Joy and I proceeded to walk around but it was generally devoid of birds apart from a build up of hirundines and a couple of Swift.

Normally at this time of year the pond weed attracts lots of wildfowl and bird in general but with the Reservoir being cleared of the weed bird numbers have plummeted. In the far south-east corner – some weed has gathered and there was a Common Sandpiper along with a Dunlin feeding. That was my first Dunlin of the year, which is poor for a species that was regular.

We made our way back to the Car Park and I tweeted the Dunlin out plus the that I hadn’t seen the Black-necked Grebe. I then realised there was a message to say the bird was present! We got back to the car and I fetched the scope and scanned again, again no sign of the Black-necked Grebe. I hopped over the fence on the promontory and the bird was feeding right up against the waters edge, therefore difficult to see from behind the fence. It was getting a bit of stick from a couple of Great Crested Grebe but was still present when I left.

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