14 Sep 2008

Given away - one daughter!

With my daughter safely married and on her honeymoon its time to turn my attention to some birding again! The wedding was fantastic with the weather finally breaking and letting us enjoy this emotional occasion in brilliant sunshine - the grooms Father was sent on his way from Australia by his Mum with a 'pocket full of Australian sunshine' and it certainly did the trick.
We'd just waved goodbye to our final guests at Fridays post wedding party when Frank rang to say he'd got a possible Semi-palmated Sandpiper at Frodsham No. 6 tank. Quickly finishing the soup I left my long suffering wife to clear up whilst I drove to Frodsham. The light was already going when I got there to find Frank, Bill Moreton and another birder watching a distant small wader. It had been showing much closer before I got there and the general feeling was of an 'interesting' bird. It certainly didn't have the 'jizz' of a Little Stint. Having black legs ruled out other small 'peeps' such as Temminck's Stint and Least Sandpiper whilst size alone ruled out Baird's and White-rumped Sandpiper. Hmm. Steve Williams arrived just before the bird flew with the Dunlin it was associating back to the Mersey Estuary.
Birds were passing through all the time and Frank had already had 4 juvenile Black Terns through before I located this Spoonbill that appeared from nowhere and looked stunning in the setting sun.

Saturday saw a small throng of local birders gather at Frodsham but despite a continuous watch from 09.00 until 19.00 there was no furhter sign of the 'peep'. There was a juvenile Little Stint with a gammy leg and this provided a good comparison with the previous days bird. The conclusion being it definitely wasn't a Little Stint............................
Other birds that entertained us during the long watch where a single Greenshank, a flock of 7 Golden Plover, Lesser & Common Whitethroats and a Peregrine! In total 10 species of wader were seen on No. 6 tank but numbers were generally low with only Lapwing making it into double figures!
It's all happening on Shetland at the moment with Jase Atkinson finding a Yellow-breasted Bunting near his house on Whalsay - a great find and on his local patch as well! - and Lanceolated Warblers at Sumburgh and Fair Isle. I hope theres still stuff moving when we go on the 26th! The mega alert went off 3 times Saturday. Each time I exhaled a big sigh of relief.

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