The blustery conditions with periods of intense rain hadn’t given me much hope of expecting a dry visit to the marsh after work. I met up with Paul and we walked along the track on No.5 tank, avoiding the really big machines contracted to make a new road here. Eventually, we reached our spot and sheltered behind a belt of trees in a landscape devoid of trees (thanks to Peel Energy) overlooking the scrapes on No.3 tank.
Almost immediately a small group of nine handsome summer plumaged Dunlin were busy refueling for their next adventure north and within their throng was one of the most pristine summer dressed Turnstone there ever was! Despite the noisy and at times ground shaking movement of the hardcore ground rollers, dumper trucks and quad bikes the birds were far too busy feeding to be disturbed (just as well, really).
The two equally splendid summer Curlew Sandpiper were hunkered down behind a mound of earth to avoid the wind, but when a Common Buzzard flew low over the area both birds took to the wing. The less bright bird stayed and the more richly rustic bird couldn’t be relocated. 5 Avocet, Lapwing (and chick), 7 Ringed Plover and Turnstone worked hard to keep us both enthralled for a good two and a half hours. FD managed to get the Turnstone for his ‘Big Frodder’s Year’ list en route home.
On two occasions the male Marsh Harrier flew over. A pair of Gadwall, two Common Teal and some Shelduck made up the volume of other species on the scrapes. At the far side of the pools a Black-tailed Godwit cut a lonely figure.
Observers: Paul Booth, Frank Duff, WSM (and images).