08 November, 2011

By The Skin Of My Teeth

Surprise mid-working week post!

I found out about the Axe White-rumped Sandpiper too late yesterday to do anything about it other than scheme, but scheme I did and this resulted in me getting up early this afternoon and checking that yes, still present. [[Cheers, Gav!]]

One rather fraught drive later [deary me...] I parked at Black Hole [thinking it was the best place to start]. I found myself walking rather briskly, [[well, limping rather briskly as I did myself a disservice at Prawle and my achilles is unhappy with me..]], following [Devon Birder] to the Tower Hide, where we found [Devon Birder] who was on the bird. He very graciously let us both have a good look through his scope, which was very very fortuitous, as when I was 3⁄4 through setting mine up the White-rumped Sand decided that the Redshank next to it flushing was worth following... They both plonked down behind an island out of sight.


It had apparently done this before and eventually wandered back into sight, though. So I defied the temptation to tick and run and hung about in hope of better views. No, no getting a bit of lost sleep back for me. Dedication, that's the thing.

Then the helicopter arrived.

It came down the valley very low and put everything up - including the W-R S, which first [Devon Birder] and then myself managed to get on in flight - the white rump showed very well against the dark background before it climbed up above the horizon and vanished towards Colyford Common with some Redshank.

A few minutes later a bunch of Redshank [well, 19+], and most of the other waders [11+ Blackwits, 2 Barwits, and eventually 4 Dunlin, plus a couple of Curlew] reappeared as if by magic, but of the yank there was no further sign by the time the tide forced the birds up onto the tussocks.

So, White-rumped Sandpiper by the skin of my teeth! At least one, maybe as many as 3 Kingfishers were a nice distraction, and a Cetti's Warbler calling briefly as I headed back to my car was a bonus. This was the first time I've been in the Tower Hide, and very nice it is, as is being able to park somewhere 'proper'! ;)

Now all I have to do is stay awake at work...

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