Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Salholme RSPB, Idle Valley NR and Inner Marsh Farm RSPB

Saltholme Pools RSPB

I decided to do a large circuit of the North of England today with the target being to see a few British rarities. I arrived at Saltholme RSPB at about 10.45 and shortly located the long staying juvenile Whiskered Tern sleeping on some rocks, pictured below between 2 Dunlin. After a short while the Whiskered Tern starting waking up and was soon flying around, often being chased by a Common Tern. I watched this very chunky looking marsh tern for about an hour before heading to Nottinghamshire.

Whiskered Tern, Salholme Pools RSPB
Idle Valley NR, Notts

I found the nature reserve near Lound easily and was soon parking up near the quarry. I located my target species - Bairds Sandpiper after a few minutes of searching, feeding in amongst a large Lapwing flock with a juvenile Dunlin. Unfortunately viewing conditions were poor (looking through small gaps in the hedge) and the crowd was growing, so after watching the bird for 20minutes I decided to move on. It was excellent to see the bird feeding with a Dunlin which provided a nice comparison.

Inner Marsh Farm RSPB

From Nottinghamshire to Cheshire didn't take too long and despite the fact that the Lesser Yellowlegs hadn't been seen all day, I still fancied my chances of finding the bird as it had often gone missing for long periods. From the hide I recorded 3 Ruff, 1 Little Egret, 28 Black-tailed Godwit, numerous Lapwing and juvenile Black headed Gull, but no Lesser Yellowlegs. After 2 hours of waiting in case the bird dropped in I decided to scan the "New Workings" with a couple of other birders. The hill which overlooks this scrape means that the birds are distant, however after 20 minutes we found the adult Lesser Yellowlegs feeding near a Greenshank. The perfect end to a long but enjoyable day!

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