Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Backsand at High tide

The day got off to a good start as the wood sandpiper was still at Restharrow however a search of the estate was disappointing with a few willow warblers being the only autumn migrants on show.
Wood Sandpiper
Whilst having a coffe what I think was a harlequin bug alighted on the table but soon flew off.
Harlequin Bug

After a coffee I went down to Backsand to await the high tide.
During the walk down flock of 25 golden plover flew past at Newdowns and disappeared south.
When I arrived at Backsand there was a reasonable show of green sandpiper (4), green shank (11) and common sandpiper (3) but the highlight was another wood sandpiper. Also on show was a little egret, a family of tufted ducks, some mallard and a teal. I then settled down to await the high tide influx and hope that some of the waders came close enough to photograph.
The first to come near (though not close) was a common sandpiper but then the wood sand right by the hide:
Wood Sandpiper

As it got closer to high tide more birds started to come in in quick succession – first up at 12.25 were 5 more greenshank and a second wood sandpiper, at 12.40 10 redshank, at 13.00 30 lapwing turned up to bring the total up to 55 with the final arrival being Steve Raynaert. During this period some more common sandpipers had arrived unseen bringing the total to 6.
A little later a golden plover arrived though it didn’t stay too long as it was harassed by a couple of lapwing. Although present in high numbers in Pegwell Bay I think this is the first I’ve seen at Backsand.
Golden Plover

As the afternoon wore on a common sandpiper came very close and a trio of greenshank were feeding close but not close enough for a decent picture.
Common Sandpiper

Greenshank

I’m not sure when I left (15.00?) but on the way back I found 125 lapwing on Newdowns farm and 5 more common sandpipers on the reservoir.
What was nice was to find my camera had arrived back from Sony. Hopefully it will be back to new though it must be said that the old alpha 200 has produced some reasonable pictures during the last month or so.

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