This blog is about all forms of wildlife I record around North Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes in particular. My main interests for 2012 will be looking for anything I've not seen before.

Monday, August 23

Linford Lake at lunch time - Wood Sandpiper

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.

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