I went to Blacktoft Sands RSPB in Yorkshire on saturday with SH and DMcK. After checking the reception hide and seeing that there were plenty of good birds to be seen around the reserve we started at the Xerox hide.
A Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover and 2 Ruff were the highlight of the waders on the islands. It didn’t take until the first of many Marsh Harriers rose from the reeds. At one point five birds were in the air over the reeds.
The Marshland hide was were most of the days action took place. Groups of waders were dotted around the different island and mud shore, most of them were asleep. 4 Avocets, 32 Black Tailed Godwits, 10 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper and 8 Ruff were the waders on the islands. At least 2 of the Spotted Redshanks were in almost full summer plumage, the Ruff also impressed with their various patterns and plumages.
2 Barn Owls chicks were standing in the entrance to their box and a couple of juv Yellow Wagtails were feeding on the mud. Whilst scanning through the waders we spotted a juv Bearded Tit jumping around the bottom of the reed stems and then onto the mud. It was joined by another two juvs and we had prolonged views of them as they hopped their way across the mud and into the reeds. Later on another two Bearded Tits flew in front of the hide.
The waders which had all been fairly settled all took off at one point just as a Hobby swooped down low over the pool before disappearing as it got higher into the sky.
From the Singleton hide we got more close views of Marsh Harriers as they soared over reeds. Three Little Egrets were fishing in the channels and a Cuckoo flew across before landing in the hedgerow.
Yesterday morning I was out doing the webs count with SH at Castle Island where the highlights were a Greenshank amongst the Redshank and a Little Ringed Plover.
Next we had a quick trip to Hauxley were a Scaup was swimming next to a Tufted Duck. Also a Barnacle Goose was amongst the Greylags and Canadas on the main Island.
Our last stop was Arcot Pond were a Green Sandpiper was in the mud behind the island with a Common Sandpiper – Patch Tick.
This afternoon I got a call saying that Fridays Hobby had returned to West Hartford but this time it was sitting in a tree! When I arrived at WH the Hobby- Patch Tick, was still on its perch and I had over half an hours on and off views as it sat on various trees and flew around the dried out main pool.
Thats three Hobbys in two weeks for me!!!
109- Common Sandpiper