A Fourteen Wader Day

This morning saw myself, John and Pete heading off to Frampton for the Marsh Sandpiper that was found on Thursday. Not thinking that it would hang around for the weekend I was pleased to see on Twitter that it had been seen at first light. After a steady drive down we managed to park in the Splatt Bridge car park and headed north on the towpath. Joining a small group of birders we soon found the Marsh Sandpiper amongst the Greenshanks. A lifer for me and a UK tick for the others.  Although a good distance away great views were had and it was good to be able to directly compare it with Greenshanks. Also seen were several Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew on the river, Kingfisher and plenty of Yellow Wagtails. Pete found another wader on the back of the scrape which after some discussion we felt could have been a Wood Sandpiper. Unfortunately it was lost from sight and so remained unconfirmed.

We headed back to the car and after waiting for a boat to pass the bridge headed off to Sharpness Docks. Plenty going on here with Redstart and Peregrine being the pick of the birds seen.

On the way to our next stop at New Passage a text was received reporting a Whiskered Tern at the Water Park. What to do? Well we decided to stick to our original plan and decision was vindicated when the Tern was re-identified as a juvenile black Tern. On arrival at New Passage where the tide was ebbing, lunch was taken whilst watching waders flying back out onto the newly exposed mudbanks. Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Redshank were the most numerous with Curlew, Turnstone and Oystercatcher also noted. We then headed out along Northwick Warth hoping for the Wood Sandpiper that had been seen here. It was not to be found when we arrived but plenty of good birds were seen including many Yellow and Pied Wagtails, Wheatear and Whinchat. After an hour or so with no sign of the Wood Sandpiper we decided to head off back to the car. Along with a couple of other Swindon Birders we wandered off. However within a couple of minutes we realised that the bird had been seen so hurriedly retraced out steps. We were rewarded with fantastic close up views of a very smart Wood Sand.

Back in the car I decided that it was a bit late to go to Farmoor for the Curlew Sandpipers so instead we set off for the Water Park hoping that the Black Tern was still around. A Grey Wagtail was the first bird seen but of the tern there was no sign. A couple of other birders said that it had been moving between 57 and 41 so we changed location. And 41 is where it was, an excellent year tick. With time passing quickly we made of to our final port of call, Pit 306, where to round off a good day of birding we were rewarded with seven species of Wader. More than twenty Lapwing, four Ruff and a Reeve, three Greenshank, two Ringed Plover along with single Dunlin, Green and Common Sandpiper. Also here was the Great White Egret, Little Egret, Heron and Little Grebe. IMG_5749 (1280x852)                             Total species count for the day was Sixty.

One response to “A Fourteen Wader Day

  1. Richard Willams

    Hi Malcolm
    I hope you are well. Could you advise me please how to get into 306? I drove past today along the road with traffic lights, but the entrance seemed to be a private quarry. I had stopped before at 305 but did not fancy anywhere that involved walking as I had just driven back from Ripon Yorkshire and was in my suit!
    Many thanks

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