Thursday, 29 September 2011

Afternoon Twitch

It has been a busy week for getting out and about with the camera. The weather this week has been very warm and summery with temperatures way above the average for this time of the year.I began the week with an afternoon twitch to Arnside to see a buff breasted sandpiper that had turned up out on the salt marsh. This was a bird I had always admired and the opportunity to see one had to be taken. I checked the Internet Monday lunchtime to find the bird was still there so I set off for Arnside just over the border into Cumbria. There were serious delays on the M6 motorway going north but I managed to find a way around the jams and joined the motorway at Galgate. Eventually I arrived at the spot just outside Arnside and a quick look out across the saltmarsh confirmed the bird was being watched by a small group of birdwatchers.
The bird was well out on the marsh and was favouring a sandy area with small tufts of grass on which to feed. Jim Clift a Preston birdwatcher was there and he had been stuck on the M6 for two hours. The bird was soon found and although it never came near I did manage some images of this very rare visitor to these shores. This Autumn a good number of these birds have turned up with a couple of dozen together at one spot in Southern Ireland. These birds have more than likely been swept across the Atlantic in Hurricane Katia which brushed our shores with very strong winds and brought numbers of North American birds to our shores.
The images shown above are not brilliant but do serve as record shots of a bird I had long wanted to see. As I am writing this blog on Thursday the bird is still there in the company of another trans Atlantic vagrant , a pectoral sandpiper. I may have another visit if these birds stay which seems unlikely given the excellent flying conditions at the moment. Other trips this week have been to the high tide wader roosts on the coast and I hope to upload some nice images of the numerous waders I saw. Meantime thanks for looking.

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