Sunday, 8 September 2019

American Golden Plover at Shellness NNR

We started early this morning at Oare Marsh where we found around fifty Golden Plover but couldn't find the American among them. We had nine Curlew Sandpipers along with numerous Lapwing, Dunlin, Godwits, Avocet, Turnstone, Curlew, Ruff, Ringed Plovers in a real wader fest which is now the norm on any visit to Oare. Water Rail, Snipe, Wheatear, Bearded Tit etc etc all made for a very good watch despite the target not showing and then at around 9.30am news arrived that a "probable" had been seen over the Swale at Shellness so we set off to make the drive around to the island and very quickly found three birders scoping the bird from the sea wall on the drive down to the car park.

American Golden Plover.....very difficult bird to find (top left in my poor record shot)
The field held about 140 Golden Plover but they remained hidden in the grass with the American bird proving to be the most sedate of all but it did get up and show itself for a few seconds every hour. I pointed the camera in the general direction and managed to grab a single shot of it before it dropped back down and completely out of sight. After three very brief views in a couple of hours we left for home but pleased to have the hat trick of Golden Plover on the year list. The bird shows all the characteristics you'd expect and as such news has been amended from probable to actual.

Year list now 280

Curlew Sandpiper at Oare
Curlew Sands plus supporting cast
Wheatear at Shellness

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