Monday, 30 May 2011

A couple of 'pipers!

There are a couple of 'sandpipers' currently in the country which interest me, one of which is quite close to home at Brockholes LWT Reserve in Lancashire and is....

The Spotted Sandpiper (SS) is a North American wader which winters in the USA south to Uruguay and is now an annual visitor to these shores, in Lancashire the SS have always been found on reservoirs. A pair was found with a nest on Skye in the Highlands in 1975 but the breeding attempt failed. Another point of interest is that only four records exist in GB prior to 1950, there are also several records of birds wintering. The adult SS is a striking bird, but juveniles are much more subtly different to the closely related Common Sandpiper. I've personally only ever seen one bird at Stocks Reservoir on 18 May 2010. The first record of SS in Britain goes back to 1849 in Whitby, N.Yorkshire. As is usual with old records like this one the unfortunate individual was shot in the company of Dunlin.

The other 'sandpiper' is....

A Terek Sandpiper (TS) is currently at Hauxley NWT Reserve in Northhumberland. The TS ranges Northeast Europe and Siberia and winters in S.Africa, S.Asia, and Australia. It is curious to note that there are no records in Britain prior to the 1950's, curious in that it is an easy bird to identify and is not likely to have been a bird overlooked. In Lancashire the only record of TS is that of a bird at Seaforth in June 2000, whilst the first record for N.W.England was at Frodsham in Cheshire in April 1999....the same individual? 

The first record of TS in Britain was of a bird found in 1951 at The Midrips in East Sussex. A couple of notes of interest about this bird was that it walked down a mud bank to wash every food item before eating it, and the second record of TS was that of a bird seen in Suffolk three days later which was thought to have been the Sussex bird.

I'D SOONER BE BIRDING....but I could see these three absent days coming last Friday, hopefully things will change tomorrow Tuesday. I take note of a Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper reported yesterday. Today a singing male Quail in a field by Lighthouse Cottage, and 2 Avocet on a pool south of Crook Farm, all four records at Cockersands.  

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Any Sandpiper would be welcome here Pete :-)

Good luck with tomorrow.