Back With a First for Wiltshire

After a quiet time on the birding front with just a couple of trips in the last few weeks it took a First for Wiltshire to get me out again. On Sunday afternoon I had come in from working in the garden and noticed an alert on my phone. I wasn’t expecting it to tell me that a Spotted Sandpiper was at Coate Water, viewable from Hide 2, just five minutes from home. I was on my way in less than five minutes and a few minutes later I arrived to find Pete and his wife standing disconsolately by a locked Hide 2. A quick phone call ascertained that the bird was actually viewable from Hide 1. After a brisk walk we were sat viewing what was Wiltshire’s first and my second Spotted Sandpiper. Also seen here were a few Common Terns and a Kingfisher. After a few minutes I had to leave as I had to get home as we were going out for a meal. For some reason I hadn’t taken my camera so this afternoon (Tuesday) saw me back in the Hide. The bird was out of sight and after a few minutes we saw it fly off to the far end of the lake. After a few minutes it returned, making a brief stop on the Tern Raft en-route. It then proceeded to give great views allowing a few reasonable pictures to be taken. Other birds of interest were a Mandarin and couple of juvenile Common Terns being fed by their parents. So a great bird seen and photographed. It is really good that after a few good local rarities over the last couple of years we have had a national one turn up here.

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