Friday 4 May 2012

Unexpected wader boost

There has been a few waders through  Buckinghamshire lately. Apart from the Whimbrels that we dipped on we have also missed a few others. So when news of a Grey Plover and Sanderling from the Sherington Road bridge came through, despite being carless we were off; cadging a lift from my long suffering father. When we arrived the finder, Rob Norris, was still there so locating the birds on a flooded field was straightforward. I glanced briefly at the plover, satisfied myself that it was a Grey Plover and then concentrated on the Sanderlings, which had now been joined by a Little Ringed Plover. The Sanderlings were in winter plamge, one moulting into summer plumage. Rob then left and I turned my attention to the Grey Plover. As I have not had a great deal of recent contact with this species I began to wonder if it was a golden plover type. To my eyes it looked a bit slender and atenuated. The problem was that if it was a goldie it would have to be a lesser type as it showed white shoulder patches and not the white flanks of Golden Plover. A passing Northants. birder stopped and looked at the bird and thought it to be a Grey Plover whilst admitting that he had some doubts. Luckily Simon Nicholls arrived and put me straight although he was very kind about understanding my stringing, it was indeed a Grey Plover. When I got home I looked the bird up in Chandler and it was a dead ringer for the female summer plumaged bird pictured. You live and learn.
Record shot of Grey Plover
The next day Rob found a Bar-tailed Godwit on the same flooded field, although the other birds had all gone. I didn`t try and string this one into anything more exotic. When Elis and I went to have a look at it it had been joined by a Ringed Plover, another year wader for us. So four new waders for the year in two days.
Another record shot, Bar-tailed Godwit.

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