Today is the first day this week that I've managed any time out birding on patch. And that's with the whole week off work! I managed two looks along the Estuary at mid tide (early morning and mid afternoon) and an early afternoon visit to Black Hole Marsh. It was quite a fruitful day really with my totals being;
7 Ringed Plover
1 Curlew Sandpiper
1 Little Stint
1 Bar-tailed Godwit
1 Bar-tailed Godwit
2 Green Sandpiper
5 Common Sandpiper
1 Spotted Redshank
There's two stand outs on that list, Spoonbill and the exceptional Ruff count. The Spoonbill was completely jammy as I saw it with my naked eye from the kitchen window flying south west away from Black Hole Marsh. Doubt soon crept in with such a brief and distant naked eye only view, but sure enough when I went down to Black Hole an hour later... "there was a Spoonbill here about an hour ago, didn't stay long though and flew off towards the Estuary". Presumably this was also the bird that dropped in briefly at Abbotsbury today.
As for the Ruff. Wow. Just wow. I had at least ten early morning on Black Hole Marsh, Dad had 14 mid morning and when I went down there early afternoon there was an incredible 19 on view. All were juveniles, and they were mostly hanging out in two flocks of seven with the rest loosely dotted around. Not sure if this is a record count for the patch, I highly doubt it as 'back in the day' am sure Phil saw loads together at times, but my previous highest single count here is of 17. Can't remember the date off hand but it was in the winter during a very cold snap with lots of snow and ice around.
|Six of the 19 Ruff on Black Hole Marsh this afternoon|
The Spotted Redshank was the lingering juvenile on Colyford Scrape, and the Curlew Sandpiper (juv), Ringed Plovers and my highest count so far this autumn of Wigeon were all along the Estuary this morning.
In other news, it's that time of year when I need to edit my mini-bio to the right of this page, and increase my age by one. Though to be honest life is going by so quick it feels like I'm changing this at least three times a year! At the age of 32, well, I can't even begin to explain just how happy and content I am with life, it would take pages and pages of text. But the source of it all is simple...