Monday 24 September 2012

Water = Waders!

Yes lots of water about the patch today - it really did tip down during the night.  As a result, and despite other things going on in my life at the moment, I was keen to get out and check it all.

My original idea was for a vigil from the Tower Hide at Black Hole Marsh, but this was almost immediately foiled. I knew I should have put my wellies in the boot...

The path to tower hide - and this was at low tide!

Black Hole Marsh was very quiet, I didn't see a single wader on it.  Although a Green Sand and two Dunlin did fly over it - both heading north. 

Next stop was the Axmouth FC scrape - of Long-billed Dowitcher fame!  A nice juv Curlew Sand was a surprise here, and looked very out of place, with a Ruff, 21 Wigeon and a Yellow Wagtail also present.  

I had then hoped for a look over Bridge Marsh, but the A3052 was closed due to a diesel spill and multiple accidents, so I headed for the Farm Gate.  From here, on the Estuary were 51 Black-tailed Godwits and a single Knot, and on Colyford scrape two Wood Sandpipers (first found yesterday) and a Greenshank.  My last action of the morning was a walk along Seaton Beach, which gave just a single Ringed Plover.

This afternoon, at about half two once I had heard the A3052 was now open, I headed back out.  A quick check at Black Hole Marsh showed a Little Stint (relocated by my old man an hour or two earlier), and then I headed for Bridge Marsh.  One of the Wood Sands was now here, and what I thought was going to prove to be the earlier Axmouth FC Ruff - was actually a second bird.

Axmouth FC scrape showed the Ruff still (this one is a big male), and also a Bar-tailed Godwit and drake Gadwall.  It was then back to the Farm Gate.  

Scoping across to the Colyford scrape I was a bit taken aback when this flew through my field of view...

Juv Marsh Harrier Colyford Marsh

It was great to watch this gorgeous juv Marsh Harrier hunting over the marsh, at first alone, but soon joined by Karen.  It disappeared into the reeds just before I left, although I have heard it's been seen again.

And now I'm back home!  So although I didn't turn up the rare wader I was hoping for, I have seen 16 species of wader on patch today (a high total for here!) - let's hope it is tomorrow that I find species number 17! And that it's a good one!


  1. Nice tally Steve. As I drove up to Kilmington (and work) this morning the flooded valley looked like it was plastered with birds. I was nearly tempted to throw a sicky...

    I'm interested to know if Karen caught anything as she hunted over the marsh? ;o)

  2. Hey Gav!

    Yeah it felt really rare out there today! Hahaha - yeah I see what you mean about Karen hunting!!!