Spotted Sandpiper. Mike Watson.
Thanks to Mike Watson for this image of the Spotted Sandpiper currently at Stocks Reservoir. Please visit Mike's website HERE to learn a few statistics and the finder of this closely related to the Common Sandpiper and North American wader.
JB agreed we should make the short trip to Stocks Reservoir to see this small wader which gave excellent views not more than a 250 yards walk from the car park at the north end of the reservoir from the first hide, at one point it was accompanied by 2 Common Sandpipers for comparison which really wasn't necessary as the bird is in breeding plumage and shows the spots reminiscent of a Song Thrush. Also noted on an otherwise short visit here, a Garden Warbler and Blackcap both in song which was again good for comparison.
Having deciding to head off to some more familiar territory we pulled in to Langden Brook where a stroll to the small pump house produced just 2 Lesser Redpoll, a pair of Coal Tit obviously feeding young at a nest, 2 Dipper in flight together with the rear bird seemingly pursuing the front one, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Goldfinch, and it was good to hear yet another 2 Wren in song.
In the Tower Lodge area I found a male Redstart at Trough Bridge, and another behind the plantation at the lodge where I saw 3 Lesser Redpoll which is the same number seen here on 4 May, surely more lurking around somewhere here, also 2 Song Thrush, and I heard the Green Woodpecker 'yaffle' twice, in the stream a Dipper seen. At Marshaw a Common Sandpiper with JB having seen two birds during my absence.
A brief look in at Stoops Bridge gave us the male Pied Flycatcher whilst it's quite possible that a male I saw further downstream could well have be a second bird depending on the range of the first which appears to stick pretty close to the nest site. I personally saw a Spotted Flycatcher here whilst JB saw two, furthermore two birders already there when we arrived claim to have seen four all from a stand still position at the car park area....Mmmmm!
Today's disappointments were, having seen a pair of Stonechats opposite the small pump house on the track up the Langden Valley on 16 & 20 April none were found today when I had hoped to at least see them and even better maybe with young. Also no Spotted Flycatchers seen in the Trough Bridge/Tower Lodge/Marshaw area today, and still no House Martins at Christ Church, Abbeystead.
Thanks to Stuart Piner who achieved this excellent image of one of the - at least - seven Sedge Warblers from the road at Cockersands yesterday.