Made a trip to the marsh after work and with blue skies and a light westerly breeze it was near perfect light to be watching over No.6 tank and the assembled Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin flocks below my position.
The numbers of Common Teal have increased recently and this evening there were 200 birds scattered far and wide with a couple of Garganey lingering with them. Also noted were the occasional Gadwall, Shoveler and Tufted Duck which helped to pad out the numbers.
The wader flocks were typically separated with the godwits obviously choosing the deeper water and the Dunlin flock taking the shallower margins. Black-tailed Godwits numbered 570 birds while Dunlin managed a respectful 780 birds.
The first juvenile Little Stint of the year were engagingly active on the flock fringe with three birds keeping to the outer edge of the Dunlin flock.
There were 18 Ruff, 6 Common Snipe and a small flock of Redshank at the far end of the pool.
A large flock of 500 Lapwing flew into the tank after joining the gull flock following a tractor along Moorditch Lane..
A Whimbrel was cowering behind a plant tussock (see upper image) which I have seen over the last couple of weeks and I was wondering why it choose to take up that position. It soon became apparent that it had sustained an injury to its breast with a large patch of feathers missing. I can only assume it may have been caught by a raptor and had subsequently escaped from its capture, hence the sheltering timid behaviour. It did come out to feed for a short while before joining two other birds and then retreated back to the comfort of the thick cover when spooked by the Dunlin flock taking to the wing…odd behaviour!
Observer and images: WSM