Monday, 19 February 2018

Spotted Sandpiper: Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire

A Spotted Sandpiper at Holme Pierrepont, was first reported on the 22nd January but had apparently been present several days prior to this having being reidentified from photographs taken on an earlier date.
Leaving home at 5.15am and with 130 miles ahead of us, we made good time, despite hitting quite a few mist and fog patches on route. We parked up by the toilet block in the White Water Course, Rafting & Kayaking car park and headed off along the canoe course footpath searching for the 750m marker and bridge. As we approached the bridge what we thought was the Spotted Sandpiper was seen immediately, however, on closer inspection, this turned out to be a Common Sandpiper! Not what we were hoping for but it did provide a year tick all the same.
After a short search further along the slalom course, we headed back towards the bridge and found the Spotted Sandpiper on the concrete path bordering the course. It spent a short time feeding on the grass bank, but soon returned to the path feeding either side of the bridge.
It's a lifer for dad as he had missed the Heybridge Basin bird that Brian and myself saw in December 2011.

Spotted Sandpiper 

Heading back towards the car park we scanned the rowing course for the 1st winter drake Long-tailed Duck that had been present since the 7th January and found it close to the finishing line sign along with a male Goldeneye.

Long-tailed Duck (B Anderson)

On the way home, we stopped at Kelham Bridge hoping to add Willow Tit to the year list. We added an overdue year tick with three pairs of Bullfinch but failed to see or hear any Willow Tits.

Luckily While at Holme Pierrepont we were told by some locals of another site that could provide sightings. Having found the site easily enough we had some trouble finding the right hide and feeding area, but eventually, we did find the feeders and sure enough, after a short wait a Willow Tit came down to feed among the Great, Blue, Long-tailed and Coal Tits.

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