Saturday, September 23, 2006
Seven Slimbridge Sandpipers
After another poor night's sleep, I bit the bullet and made an impulsive early morning dash to Slimbridge with the intention of ticking some Yankee waders. In the car park at 7:15am, a small crowd was greeted by a warden advising that we could go along to the Holden Tower and wait for news. A few of his colleagues were already out on the Dumbles looking for the birds. After about an hour a warden returned to the tower with the news that one buff-breasted sandpiper had been located and we now had to wait for the tide to bring the waders in. We would then need to wait for them to settle. Around 10:20am we began the long march out to the Dumbles. Its muddy out there I can tell you. We were however, soon on to the pair of buff-breasted sandpipers. Satisfied with good views, we turned our attention to the nearby semipalmated sandpiper that the wardens had seen coming in to roost. I was keen to see this bird having missed out on the Goldcliff individual two weeks ago. A few other Gwent birders had the same plan. This peep proved elusive, but was eventually tracked down by the Gloucestershire Recorder who had ventured onto the mud. A crowd of over fifty birders then followed onto the slippery surface. The bird was roosting alongside a dunlin and little stint. Comparisons were possible, but the view wasn't really satifactory, as it was not possible to see the whole bird out in the open. Anyway, it was a peep show and was duly ticked. With two lifers under my belt, I returned to the South Lake for what was now four reported pectoral sandpipers. I squeezed in to a busy hide and took just a few minutes to pick the foursome out. . Satisfied with two lifers and a year tick I headed for home. Also ticked during the visit were the Gloster Birder amongst a flock of Gloucestershire birders and LGRE sporting a dapper white shirt and black tie.
Posted by Wayne at 9/23/2006 02:29:00 PM