Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Deciding to have Tuesday and Wednesday this week free and just for twitching, was probably the best choice we could have made.. After seeing Whiskered tern and Red-Necked Phalarope in the last 2 days, I was rather intrigued as to what was going to turn up next!?

To my surprise, late on Monday afternoon, a report of a probable Bobolink down at Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir in Glamorgan, soon had me itchin for a twitchin.. It was far too late to twitch it that day as there wasn't enough time.. The bird was showwing on and off, well into the evening but then became elusive which wasn't a good sign - this tends to mean the bird will dissapear overnight. A quick phonecall to Ralph that evening revealed 2 options for us - Bobolink in Glamorgan or Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper in Cleveland. What do we twitch??

After meeting up with Kane and Ciaran, {Thoray and Sverrir from Iceland} that afternoon at WWT Martin mere for a catch up, some birding, plus a lovely meal with them and Kane's family in the evening, it was time to leave and catch yet another 2 trains from Atherton back to Ormskirk.
On Tuesday morning, we awaited news of the Bobolink, sadly it had moved on overnight. However, the Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper was still up in Cleveland so we headed for that instead! A few hours later and a short detour with the sat-nav, we were stood on a small embankment overlooking a creek watching my 1st Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper!!! It was right next to Saltholme Pools RSPB, where I had had, in the last few months, a severe dip on a Broad-Billed Sandpiper - the sharpie sure made up for that though!

The Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper is the right-hand bird! Notable features include - The prominent white supercilium reaching beyond the eye, streaked breast pattern, arrowheads on breast-sides and the flanks and a rufous cap. A fantastic bird and one that I am very happy to have seen!
We also managed to see - 1 Black-necked grebe, 1 Yellow wagtail, 2 Curlew sandpiper, Spotted redshank. However, the best birds went to...
**1 Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper**
*1 Little stint*
Seeing the Sharp-Tailed sandpiper and my first Little stint of the year, brought me to 244 species for 2010!! Absolutely fantastic. Next target has to be the 7 Lapland buntings on the Great Orme in the next few days. Huge thanks to Ralph Jones for doing all the driving and to Eugene for the map reading and getting us to the right place. All I can say is a mega twitch and one I shall remember for quite sometime. Check back in a few days time..
Below; a selcetion of shots of the Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper.. Albeit with a heat-haze!
The 2 shots above were rather unexpected. They show a comparison with a Dunlin which was rather useful in the field! 1st Photo = Sharpie on the right and Dunlin on the left [Note: The sharp tail} - 2nd Photo = Sharpie on the left and Dunlin on the right!

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