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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Waders

This drastic weather change has seen a significant pulse of wader passage on the Axe Estuary, which is to be expected with rain in late April.

This morning the star bird was a Ruff briefly on Black Hole Marsh, before flipping over to the Estuary. Obviously we all know how stunning/bizarre spring males are, but this was a she, and she was truly beautiful.  A really small and dainty bird, probably not that much bigger than a Curlew Sand, but so exquisitely marked.  Just look at those tiger-striped tertials and greater coverts, absolutely stunning...

I wonder where she's been wintering and where she may be heading off to breed?

Hello there Mrs


Also today, probably the same Grey Plover I saw from the house last week, and which Phil heard a few days ago, was showing distantly on the Estuary. Along with a single Bar-tailed Godwit, four Whimbrel and a few Dunlin and Ringed Plover...

100% winter plumaged Grey Plover on this side

But a few black spots on this side, with a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel


Good to see there's still some gull passage going on, with two first-winter Common Gulls and at least 25 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the Estuary this morning... 

All ages - I keep reminding myself there's still time for a late white-winger


Yesterday I took my exercise walk in the afternoon, and was delighted to see a flock of thirty odd Dunlin on the Estuary. Then in true spring fashion, in came another flock and I was now looking at 64 Dunlin and five Ringed Plovers.  In birding I don't find much more exciting than being amongst spring wader passage, when out of nowhere flocks of breeding plumaged waders drop in en-route to their tundra breeding grounds, having wintered somewhere south of the UK.

So many waders! Never a common sight on the Axe.

Always feeding in such a frenzied way!


More rain tomorrow so possibly more waders to come!? Stay safe everyone...

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