Monday, 17 August 2009

Bothal Wader Fest

Mid afternoon I took the kids to Newbiggin Beach, always likely to get a Med Gull so it makes the visit to the park/beach/playground slightly more bearable. Afterward the bare crumbs I had noticed in the cupboard before we left prompted a supermarket trip. Home and a lasagne salad later I eventually got round to checking Birdguides Bird News Extra.
A Spotted Redshank 1m as the crow flies at Bothal Pond put a spring in my step, I nipped down to see if it was still showing as it had been reported two hours previously.

First up amongst the throng of Lapwing were three tidy Black-tailed Godwit feeding just off the spit along the west edge.

Black-tailed Godwit.

Followed quickly by a rather inactive and dozing Spotted Redshank just a little closer than the Godwit. Bothal is very open so record shots are the order of the day I'm afraid. Most of the time I was tucked in just below the slope of the bank adjacent to the road, it dozed with head tucked in, only occasionally preening. Half a dozen Common Snipe fed in that voracious way they have close by, squabbling and every now and again one would get up and shoot off north with their distinctive 'schcap' call. I scanned the south bay and added another wader to the list with a Green Sandpiper feeding in deep water up to its belly.

Spotted Redshank.

I had parked in a layby 100m back up the road, it took me slightly longer than 9.58seconds to return to the car but then Bolt wasn't carrying a Manfrotto + scope + camera was he.
Peering through a gap in the hedge on the other side of the road I noticed a couple of pale looking birds in the field. As I watched the Spotshank I had just been watching dropped in to join the two Greenshank that were stood around a small flash type pool.

Greenshank 1&2, Spotted Redshank 3 (left-right).

The pool was nearer the back of the field along which runs a scrubbed over old railway line and little used public footpath. I decided to walk round to see if I get any closer shots. Several nettle stings later I was in sight of the pool shielded by a Hawthorn I did my best to flatten the nettles around me, got stung some more and sat down to wait. Within a few minutes one of the Greenshank that was feeding haphazardly through the surrounding grass got close enough to get some better shots.

Common Greenshank.
The frustrating thing as you can see was the tall grass straying across the shots, bloody nuisance and life's too short for Photoshop. In addition to the shanks there was also a smaller wader that turned out to be a Wood Sandpiper, that made for eight wader species in an hour.

The little stars that they were even managed to come together in a once in a blue moon record shot of all three.

Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper.

I waited around hoping the Spotshank would wander across to the puddles nearer me like its Green cousin but no such luck so again I was beaten by the distance. It was more active on this pool feeding all the time I was there. Just before I took my leave a party of a dozen or so Common Teal dropped in to almost fill the water surface.

1 comment:

Ipin said...

worth checking Bothal for the mega! Probably this weekend when we are at Birdfair!