Saturday, 23 May 2015

Broad-billed Sandpiper at Tinker's Marsh Suffolk

We set off this morning aiming for a good days birding at Minsmere with one eye on the Broad-billed Sandpiper seen yesterday at Tinkers Marsh. First stop was Dunwich Heath where we quickly scored with several Dartford Warblers from the footpath and a fine looking Stonechat. As we drove back to Minsmere the pager informed us that the Broad-billed Sandpiper had been seen so we turned around and headed five miles north to Southwold parking up at the end of the harbour road. We walked 100 yards to Baileys bridge then headed west along the river for over a mile to find three other birders on site looking at what was to become another lifer for us. The bird showed really well coming to feed at the front of the pool with several Dunlin and three Sanderling. On the next pool we enjoyed good scope views of three Curlew Sandpipers and picked up a Caspian Gull too for another tick.

Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper with Dunlin
Back at Minsmere we walked out to the sea picking up Lesser Whitethroat and Bearded Tits along the way. At sea I picked up a single Little Tern moving fast along the tide line before we reached East Hide and quickly found the splendid summer plumaged Red-necked Phalarope. Jimmy located a single Med Gull here too and I picked up two Sandwich Terns flying through to give the Jims a year tick.
We walked the reserve and had good views of Cetti's Warbler and Bittern before reaching Bittern hide where we plotted up for a while. From here we enjoyed really good views of upto six Bittern both in flight and feeding in the pools. Two Marsh Harrier and a couple of Hobby entertained too.

Bittern 
Bittern in a twist
Bittern from Bittern hide Minsmere
Sand Martin
Swallow at Southwold
Swallow at the sluice
A really enjoyable day in Suffolk bagging a lifer and several year ticks too.
The day list totalled 95 so all in all a very productive outing.

Life list now at 359 and year list now at 228

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