Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Thursday 30 September 2021

Blacktoft Sands RSPB Reserve

There was a very good supporting cast at Blacktoft where I saw the White-tailed Lapwing. Numbers weren't great, but the variety was. There was plenty of wildfowl, with Teal, Shoveler, Gadwall and Mallard in attendance. Snipe were plentiful, and I do love watching them. Even if they are resting and doing very little I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time studying them and their striking plumage. A couple of Spotted Redshank were good to see. A Great White Egret put in an appearance and got itself added to my year list. Oh and almost forgot, a Bluethroat. A rarity here and yet another lifer for me. A great day all round.

Spotted Redshank

Common Snipe

Great White Egret

The Goldfinch were busy feeding while I was sat in one of the hides.

A very distant Bluethroat that was flitting around a long way away at the base of the reeds.

Saturday 25 September 2021

White-tailed Lapwing - Blacktoft Sands

Reports came in towards the end of last week that a White-tailed Lapwing (Plover) was at RSPB Blacktoft Sands, off the Humber Estuary in Yorkshire. Now this is not a common bird at all here in the UK, with only 6 previous records. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to head along the M62 to try and see it.

On arrival it hadn't yet been seen, but there were half a dozen hides to check, so it could still be around. Eventually it was spotted, but it was asleep behind a very overgrown island and could only be seen by a few to the far right of the hide. 4 hours later it took off and landed out of sight. This meant a quick march to the next hide to see if it was there. Thankfully there it was, wide awake and feeding. 

It was worth the wait for a very good looking bird and a life tick too.

The White-tailed Lapwing with is really nice long yellow legs.

Seen here on the left, with a Ruff on the right. Giving a good size comparion.

I saved my best for last.

Tuesday 21 September 2021


Similar to the Whinchat, is the Stonechat. I see these regularly throughout the year, but sometimes I come across a very showy pair. This was the case at Holme-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast.

I suspected this may have been a pair busy nesting, so I didn't hang around, but was able to get some quickfire pictures before leaving them to it.

Friday 3 September 2021


I made many trips and travelled many miles in search of a Whinchat in the Spring of this year, and all to no avail. I didn't find any on passage or at a trusted site for breeding. I had all but given up seeing one this year. Until that is I saw reports of them on the move again, and they were starting to move down off the hills. I had somewhere that usually gets the odd Redstart and Stonechat passing through at this time of year, and so I thought I'd go and take a walk and see if there was any sign. I checked the usual fence lines and bushes, but no sign of any Whinchats. In fact there was very little of interest about. 
I hopped over a style and carried on my walk towards the River Dean. Plenty of Swallows were around and the juveniles were resting on the fence wires. I took a cursory look through the binoculars across a wheat field, when I caught sight of a bird zipping over the top. I got a good look at it, and long enough to rule out Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit that can be in the area. I thought it might be a Stonechat, but then it popped up on top of the crop. This was a Whinchat!! I'd actually forgotten to look for one by this stage, so it was real delight to see one. Only issue was that I didn't had ;eft my camera in the car.
I walked all the way back to get it and returned. Thankfully, it was still there and I was able to get a few pictures. Another good year tick.