Saturday, 10 September 2011

Twitching the Pectoral Sandpiper at Wilstone Reservoir (9th September)

A very early finish to my school day at 1:00pm meant I could just about rush to Watford Junction to catch the 1:26 train to Tring and run/walk from Tring Station to Wilstone Reservoir bypassing Marsworth and Startop's End Reservoir and quickly scanning the mud surround to check whether the Pec. Sand. hadn't decided to make a trip here instead of staying at Wilstone.  I soon continued to Wilstone were at the jetty at least half a dozen people were fixed at looking at the bund infront of the jetty.  Thankfully it was still there as I took my first look at a Pectoral Sandpiper (a juvenile female).  It was also a great pleasure to meet Mr L G R Evans for the first time on the jetty (just in case you're reading my blog Mr Evans).  The Pec. Sand. fed mainly along the south side of the spit amongst c.20 Ringed Plover and after around an hour of watching the P.S. and as the crowds trickled away she came very close to the end of the jetty so that one could study the precise plumage as well as the split supercilium, the white V on the mantle and scapulars, the streaking on the chest ending abruptly at a point, the dark yellow legs, the pure white underparts and a red-brown tinge to the streaked upperparts all pointed to a juvenile bird.  Being a female was ruled out by the fact that she was, although large than the accompanying Ringed Plovers and dwarfing the remaining Little Stint, still remained smaller than the usual size of a male.

video
  my brothers footage of the Pectoral Sandpiper at Wilstone Reservoir, on the bund

Later in the day after visiting the hide and observing the Pec. Sand in flight I also scanned the mud in the Drayton Lagoon which held 2 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Common Sandpipers.  Also of note were the almost constant company of the family of 3 Hobbies.  A last visit around to the jetty again revealed the Pec. Sand as well as a juv. Black Tern (new to my year list) and a fly over Sparrowhawk, scaring most of the Lapwings and waders into flight.

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