A day by the lake

14 hours is a long time, not just in politics, but also in birding. I had reason to stay close to the holiday home today so thought it a good opportunity to keep an eye on Maer Lake (at the bottom of the garden). The water level is currently low - more mud is being exposed by the day- and is attracting a fine selection of waders.

The Curlew Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Wood Sandpipers of previous days had all moved on, but as the hours passed the 3 Black-tailed Godwits became 5, then 6, then eight. The lone Greenshank of the past two days attracted another mid-morning before both left the site noisily. Green Sandpipers were always a feature, with four birds sharing the margins with five Dunlin, five Common Snipe and a Common Sandpiper.

A Ruddy Shelduck (here for day four) was surprisingly elusive for hours on end; two Little Egrets flew in for just an hour; and the three Water Rails that entertained me for half-an-hour between 05.45 - 06.15 weren't seen at all for the rest of the day.

In all, I recorded 50 species from the garden. The day revealed the comings and goings of the avian visitors and showed that obvious species such as Ruddy Shelduck could go missing for hours on end at a small site. If ever there was a clear demonstration that a quick site visit fails to reveal really what is present, this was it. Each scan revealed something different, something of note. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, another step on my birding rehabilitation.


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