......no not British Telecom!
Enter the smart machine which creates a scrape at a stroke - well almost - and as can be seen in the pic above throws the waste up into the air and out of the way, it was opposite the road to Braides off the A588 at 2.45 this afternoon when BT and I called there in response to a pager message telling us of a Curlew Sandpiper, a juvenile Ruff on scrapes, and c.100 'early' Pink - footed Geese over but when we arrived there at 3.15 a male Merlin in the field and this monster muncher at work at the same time put paid to any hope of anything being anywhere near the place. However, it didn't take long for the birds to find the 'new' scrapes did it and this is already looking good.
At Knott End the two Sandwich Terns above are of the only three here early afternoon, also noted here were c.20 Eider impossible to count on the choppy sea, and 12 Sanderling. A visit to Cockers Dyke produced a decent variety of waders which proved frustrating as the birds were all crouched on the marsh area's either side of the dyke sheltering from the quite strong wind and made both counting and ID difficult if not impossible but I would suggest the following estimate's of 120 Dunlin, 40 Sanderling, a similar number of Knot, 15 Golden Plover, and 25 Grey Plover. When we left here I couldn't help but feel this was the classic situation where something could certainly have been missed. At Fluke Hall 2 Wheatear noted before we bolted for the aforementioned 'new scrapes'.
At Conder Green 'the' Wood Sandpiper was finally nailed when it was on Conder Pool with Redshanks compared to which its smaller size was made obvious, 2 Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, and 2 Little Grebe were also on the pool.
Having read through this posting I find that it is often really hard to put into words the enjoyment of a days birding but today was certainly that, as - in my book - they all are.