09 July 2010

White-tailed Plover.

I'd considered going up to Liverpool to see it - and a trip across to Rainham Marshes RSPB didn't seem too ambitious. But when - at about midday - the news came through the bird was at WWT Slimbridge... half an hour away... I took an impromptu half day from work, dropped everything and made tracks.

I arrived at 1330hrs, and to my relief the bird was still present. The Zeiss hide was busy even then, but as the afternoon wore on it became VERY busy indeed. Just getting one's scope positioned correctly was hard enough! I'm glad I made the effort to see it today rather than hoping it stuck around until tomorrow. Not only do I think the chances of a long stay are slim (the bird does seem to be on something of a Magical Mystery Tour), but it will be hell in that hide tomorrow.

Top New Piece. The Plover was feeding on the far side of the water from the Zeiss hide. It was distant, but a zoom of 40x was sufficient to get decent views. The heat haze made getting a steady view difficult but as time passed the Sun spent more time hidden behind clouds and consequently the bird came into much better focus. By 1515hrs I was very pleased indeed. Of course, I would've liked it to come closer to the hide but ultimately this was not necessary for very satisfactory views.

A couple of times it flapped its wings, one preening session, two periods spent sat down in the water, and a heck of a lot of feeding.

What a bloody bird. Number 162 for the year.

I had a half-hearted look around the other hides. More Green Sandpipers than you could shake a stick at, but nothing that stood out. A couple of Stock Doves showed well from the Holden Tower at about 1600hrs.

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