After several days of scouring bushes of the estate and finding very little to point the camera at it was back to Backsand this morning – being joined by Steve Ashton.
We arrived at the scrape about 2 hours before high tide (~ 10.45) but there was very little to be seen other than 30-odd mallard and a couple of green sandpipers and 2 black-tailed godwits. Slowly but surely the waders accumulated and as high tide approached the final count reached 3 common and 5 green sand, 30 redshank, 17 greenshank, 2 black tailed godwit, 10 lapwing and a snipe.
With the water level being so low everything was reluctant to visit the sandbank in front of the hide but eventually 3 greenshank, 1 snipe and a common sand all had a few moments close by which enabled some decent shots to be obtained. They were all very nervous when close to the hide and never stayed more than a few seconds.
The snipe spent a lot of the morning 20 to 30 yards from the hide and even posed on top of a post – I just wish it had chosen one of the closer ones.
No sign of the last weeks wood and curlew sandpipers unfortunately.
A brief update on the possible Paddyfield warbler.
The picture has been seen by quite a number of people now with the same result - all agree that it looks good for a paddyfield and often followed it up with the question "what else could it be". However..........I think it's unlikely to feature in the official records because not enough of the field marks are visible to clinch the id. It will feature on my Greater Kent list though because I make the rules as to what does/does not qualify.