Saturday 25 August 2018

Frampton comes alive

Winds are a bit westerly so no fall of Scandanavian drift migrants this bank holiday weekend. However, a Stilt Sandpiper across the Wash at RSPB Frampton Marsh was more than tempting, so I decided to brave the bank holiday traffic and go twitching.
I should have left early but I'd put in a long week at work and so choose to give myself a lie-in instead.
Unfortunately though, as well as the heavy traffic on the 'orrible A47 and A17 stretch, I also had to contend with harsh, direct light hampering my photography efforts.
Still, despite all that I was very taken by this fine wader. I had never seen one before, anywhere! Despite south-west Ireland being pretty good for American shorebirds, I think the last record there was in 2003 and overall in Ireland I think there are only 14 records (or thereabouts). In UK I think around 35 - so a pretty rare bird all in all.

Stilt Sandpiper, Frampton Marsh, Lincolnshire - 25th August 2018

Sunday 5 August 2018

Not so distant memories

Last weekend I paid a visit to the north Norfolk RSPB reserves of Snettisham and Titchwell. I like Titchwell very much, Snettisham not much, anything I've ever seen there has been distant. The purpose of my trip was to see the Semi-Palmated Sandpiper at Snettisham and the Lesser Yellowlegs at Titchwell. The former being only the 6th Norfolk record, so a good bird indeed for the county. I was fortunate and managed to see both birds. However, while I was very pleased to have connected, truth be told, I drove back to Norwich feeling a little nonplussed.
I've seen five Semi-P's in Ireland and all bar one have practically been running around my feet. Lesser Yellowlegs, I've only seen two in Ireland, one on the estuary mudflats at Rosscarbery, Cork and the second bird in a small pool on The Cunnigar, Waterford - that bird was often too close to focus the lens on. That's often how waders are in Ireland - and I confess to be really missing that!
I'v dug through my files and produced a few Semi-P images - great little birds and so photogenic!

Ballycotton, Cork - November 2010

Ballycotton, Cork - November 2010 (same bird as above)

Ballycotton, September 2011
Garretstown Beach, Cork - September 2012
Ballycotton - September 2008