A beautiful evening with the day's heavy cloud clearing away to leave a clear blue sky. Quite warm too at 17 degrees C.........
Arriving home from work at 1700 hours, I was pleased to see that my COMMON SWIFTS had arrived during the day - 8 birds noisily wheeling around CHAFFINCH HOUSE - the first of the year. Earlier, I had seen a RING-NECKED PARAKEET at Chenies
I then had to make the daily commute to GYPSY LANE EAST, a journey of some 76 miles round-trip, this time to see a CURLEW SANDPIPER found by Andy Impey at 1515 hours........
And it was not good news when I arrived there at 1855. Pip, Darren Thomas and others had been searching for over half an hour and had seen nothing - seemingly the bird had moved on. Knowing that Andy Plumb and Stuart Warren had been watching the bird as recently as 1755, I phoned both of them to get the lowdown. Apparently the bird had been difficult and was skulking for much of the time, some observers leaving the site after only seeing the head and bill ! This was encouraging, even though everyone else had given up. I concentrated my efforts on the back pool and eventually located the bird, sheepishly feeding amongst vegetation on the near edge. It was very difficult to see and only really showed when it was attacked and chased by Lapwings, forcing it out into the open. It was very distant - perhaps 300 yards - but I did take these record images as it fed alongside a Common Redshank.
Placing the bird back on RBA, both Darren and Pip returned, whilst Martin Stevens, Matt Burgess and Barry Squires also turned up. It remained on view until at least 2015 hours when I departed
Not much else on offer other than Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Shoveler, 8 Common Shelduck and 6 Gadwall; Greylag Geese broods were everywhere totalling over 60 birds - yuck!
Today's CURLEW SANDPIPER at Broom, taken at 300 yards range