Following my usual route around I spotted a nice Red Admiral and two largish Grass Snakes. Luckily I made it to Near Hide before the heavens opened. Working my way along the bund left to right when I got to directly opposite the hide I spotted a wader feeding along the shoreline. Only with my bins I struggled to make out what it was. So I started crossing off what it wasn't. Then tried ringing a few people to see who could get to it as my lunch hour was fast running out and I wouldn't have enough time to get back to the car to collect my scope. Called Rob H and talked through the 'id' features, dark backed bird with dark crown, pale buff on neck and breast, white unders, couldn't see colour of legs - just darkish? Thin shortish dark bill. Too small for Ruff. Rob was happy to suggest Wood Sandpiper which I'd totally forgotten about. Then as luck would have it a lady turned up with a scope. After a few minutes getting herself set up the bird walked off the shoreline and behind some weeds! Seriously running out of time, I again spotted the bird a few metres to the right, back on the shoreline. Put the scope on it and bingo a 'spangly backed' 'whacking great white supercilium' 'breast markings continuing further down' of a juvenile Wood Sandpiper. Then dashed back to work and spent the next hour trying to send an email to the bird groups from my mobile.
I then returned to Linford after work, armed with my scope this time, but Nik and Rob had beaten me too it and could only find a juvenile Ruff and Common Sandpiper instead of the Wood Sandpiper. The Ruff looked remarkably different to the earlier Wood Sandpiper.