Sunday, 18 February 2018

Spotted Sandpiper at Holme Pierrepont

Saturday saw me visiting my bro and his new arrivals. Two little smashers only 4lb odd each but both girls and mum doing well. A stop on the way home at the "pie pub" in Stapleford Abbot was followed by another stop in Theydon to bag the old fella a year tick with calling Tawny Owls.

This morning I decided to treat the old boy again with the chance of adding his first lifer of 2018 and as such we drove up north to Holme Pierrepont in Nottinghamshire after picking him up at 5.15 for a nice early start. Arriving at the venue we couldn't miss the canoe centre and driving in we quickly found the rafting area. A very short walk down the edge of the rapids to marker 750 and we're scanning for the piper. I found one but to our amazement the bird was only a Common so the old mans lifer is put on hold if only for a few minutes when Jimmy pointed out another bird and this one turned out to be the juvenile Spot Sand and it showed very well in the grey overcast conditions.

Spotted Sandpiper
Spot sand
After we'd had a little papping session we left it be and walked up the canoe section to find the wintering Long-tailed Duck. Again we quickly got on the bird and managed a few shots despite the sun struggling to break the clouds at all which made for a testing time with the camera.

Long-tailed Duck
Long Tailed Duck at Holme Pierrepont
On the way back down the road we stopped firstly at Kelham Bridge where we found three pairs of Bullfinch but failed to hear or see any Willow Tit. Last stop following a tip from some locals was a small reserve near Lea Marston where after a short walk we did manage to add Willow Tit to the year list.

Year list now 163

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