Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Could Have Been Bad But It Was Baird's

Saturday I took Jess out for the day, a delayed birthday present (only three months late!). But right at the start of the day Phil phoned with news of a long-winged wader on Black Hole Marsh, either Baird's or White-rumped.  I don't need White-rumped for the patch so spent the next few hours hoping it was going to be another of these, but the bad news came early afternoon just as I was munching on a pork and apple pasty (which in my opinion was over seasoned, good meat should be left alone).

Thankfully though it did the decent thing, and when I returned home late afternoon a quick run to Black Hole (where for the first time I could really appreciate the recently tarmacked track to the Island Hide!) showed it was still present, and one of the closest waders to the hide.  Many thanks to Kev and Debs for letting me use their scope. Although there are heaps of staggering photos out there of it, I still had to get my own record shots...

I've never seen an adult Baird's before, but several juvs/1st winters. Whatever the age though that shape never changes, the long tapered wing tip of this species and White-rumped Sand is classic.  I thought it was actually a very pretty bird, very gingery overall with a gorgeous almost juv Curlew Sand-like peachy wash to the breast, and a very striking head pattern. I've always likened Baird's Sandpipers to weetabix, I hope Tim White doesn't mind me nicking one of his awesome photos from his website (

Black Hole Marsh Baird's Sandpiper (c) Tim White


Don't tell me you can't see it!? I will admit it is more obvious with the juvs.

A cracking bird for the marsh, and a great patch tick too.  I appreciated this one more than most because I (along with three others) have seen Baird's Sand on patch before, many many years ago though. I must have been about 14 and it was settled north of Coronation Corner late evening, but soon took off and flew out to sea. Oddly I have never forgotten the late Alan Bundy describing its call as "more like a fart than a bird call".  Sadly enough wasn't seen for the record to be accepted by BBRC, and I play by the books so it wasn't on my patch list. Well, it is now :-).

Black Hole has been superb during the last week, just this morning there were four Wood Sands on it, and last night Tim White had nine Ruff. On top of that there's been up to 50 Dunlin, 30 Ringed Plover, small numbers of Greenshank, Green Sands, a few more Common Sands, singles of Turnstone and Sanderling along with a few hundred Black-headed Gulls and double figures of Teal. What a place!

1 comment:

  1. That's fine Steve! Cheers for linking to my blog. I bet that was a long and agitated day out... BHM never fails to amaze me for photo opportunities! Hopefully this is the start of a good wader-y Autumn.