Monthly Archives: August 2016

Peep Show

A last-minute decision saw myself and Matt leaving Swindon late this morning en-route to Seaton to try for the Least Sandpiper that has been showing well for a couple of days. After a good run down the M4 and M5 we arrived in the car park in a little under two hours, pretty good going. I last visited this area about ten years ago on a family holiday and apart from the trams seems to have changed a fair bit. A short walk from the car took us to the right hide and within a minute we were onto the bird which was feeding really close to the path. It was a bit awkward watching it through the gaps in the fence but we had great views as it fed alongside a Dunlin. Very useful as for a size comparison. Matt also found the Wood Sandpiper that was feeding on the other side of the path to the hide. This bird was coming even closer and a couple of times walked right under the raised walkway, It was later joined by a Common Sandpiper. Unfortunately one photographer decided to climb up the fence and when I suggested that it would be better if he came down stated “it’s okay the birds won’t see me” well they obviously did as they disappeared into the grass only returning after he had left. After watching the Sandpipers for a while we wandered down to the hide where we added, amongst others, Ringed and Little Ringed Plover and Black-tailed Godwit to the day list. After grabbing a sarnie in the hide we went for another look at the Least Sand before heading back to the car. A Spotted Sandpiper had been showing at the on the route home Sutton Bingham Reservoir so this was to be our next stop. On arrival at this new to both of us site we stopped on a causeway but there was no sign of a Sandpiper. A passing local birder stopped and informed us of where it had been seen earlier so we followed him down to “The Arm”. Unfortunately despite several birders looking for it the Spotted Sand wasn’t found although we did mange a Common. After another scan from the causeway we decided to head for home. A good cross-country run via the A303 saw us back in Swindon before seven. The Least Sandpiper was my twelfth UK Sandpiper and the third new one for the year.

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A Barbury Sunset

Yesterday evening I took the dog for a walk at Barbury Castle. I parked at the western end and straight away on opening the car door I heard a Quail calling from the field to the west of the road. I walked east along the track at the bottom of the hill where there was another one calling. A few Swallows passed overhead, a Buzzard was sat on a post in the field and a couple of Yellowhammers were heard.  A Hare posed for a minute in a field alongside the racecourse. The sunset was quite impressive and didn’t give any clue to the change that was coming to the weather. On the drive back another Buzzard allowed the car to get closer than usual before flying off.