A Sandpiper Week

On a couple of afternoon visits to the Water Park I chose to check out various pits looking for Sandpipers. on Tuesday I managed to find twelve Green and two Common and on Friday nine Green and five Common. Also seen were quite a few Common Terns with some juveniles and still good numbers of Sand Martins along with Reed Warbler and Bunting. Wednesday evening found me walking from Folly Farm up to the Ridgeway where there were good numbers of juvenile birds around including Goldfinch, Yellowhammer and Whitethroat. Best of all though were two calling Quail, I think that this is my best year ever for these with at least twenty birds heard.  On Friday evening I fancied going out so headed for the A4 between Marlborough and Hungerford. Froxfield had a Little Egret and a single Green Sandpiper and Chilton Foliat Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Little Grebe. I ended up in Savernake hoping to catch a late Nightjar. Alas no luck but there were a lot of Tawny Owls calling. On Saturday morning I had planned to get out for a ride on the motorbike and an obvious destination was Langford Lakes where a Wood Sandpiper has been around all week. I arrived fairly early to find just one car in the car park. With a Great Spot the first bird on the list I headed down to the furthest hide getting a Common Sandpiper on the main lake. At the hide my initial scan found only Lapwing around the lake but a further check soon found the Wood Sand stood on the bank to the right of the hide. It stayed here for a few minutes before starting to move along the bank continually picking insects from the water and gravel. It got closer and closer, until eventually it walked right along the front of the hide and then along the left hand bank before finally stopping almost 180 degrees from where it started. I certainly couldn’t have asked for better views. Also seen here were two Green Sandpipers which flew noisily across the lake. The only disappointment here was no Kingfisher sighting, another bird missing from my 2019 Wiltshire list. Today my wife and I went to the Golden Swan pub in Wilcot for Sunday lunch. A pre-meal hour and forty-five minute walk along the Kennet & Avon Canal was pretty quiet birdwise with only around a dozen species seen with again no Kingfisher. However the meal was very nice as were the two pints of Wadworths Horizon Ale that washed it down.

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