Sunday, 27 May 2012

What a difference a day makes at Stodmarsh

"You should have been here earlier". A day earlier to be precise. With two White-winged Black Terns present all day Saturday, We decide to make the trip early Sunday morning.
A little over an hour and we reach the car park to find it already packed with cars, no doubt with birders having the same idea as we do.
Leaving the car we make for the main lake and Tower hide. On the walk round we get prolonged views of two Bitterns flying around the reedbeds. There's another Bittern "booming" close to us. The two flying birds stay in the air for some ten minutes before dropping down into the reeds and out of sight.
Reaching the lake we scan the area, But are disappointed to find only Common Terns flying over the lake and perched on the raft.
Mute Swan
Apart from the Common Terns there's very little else on the lake, With two Grey Herons and a few Pochard and Mute Swans all that's seen.
Meeting from familiar faces and with none of them having seen any sight of the White-winged Black Terns,We still give it another hour before moving on towards Marsh hide.
There's plenty of Warblers around with Cetti's, Reed and Sedge all present in large numbers. We manage some brief but frequent views of the Cetti's while walking around the reserve.
After entering marsh hide, I have only just managed to squeeze into one of the few remaining spots left when a shout goes up "Wood Sand flying in". I manage to get my bins on it before it drops down behind some thick reeds and out of sight. After a while it walks into view and I get some views through the scope.
The hide empties and we scope the area where the bird was last seen. There's 3-4 Redshank and two Greenshank seen but no further sign of the Wood Sandpiper.
Marsh frog
In front of the hide the Marsh frogs start to become very vocal and they are a good distraction while we wait for the Wood Sand to hopefully reappear.
Another birder joins us and we tell him of the wood sandpiper, He's keen to see it as like us it would be a year tick.
While scanning the area, A Lapwing puts the Redshank up and shortly afterwards the presence of a Male Marsh Harrier puts all the waders in the area up. The Wood sandpiper is among them, It's noticeably smaller than the Greenshank and with no white trailing edges to the wings it's easy to distinguish it from the Redshank. Maybe Green Sandpiper might come into the equation, But it doesn't look black and white in flight and we are happy it's the Wood Sandpiper.
Although there are no White-winged Black Terns present, We are happy to have added the Wood Sand to the year list.

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