Off to the steps to the beach at Tinker's Dell via the meadows. By the burned patch some small passerines are flitting about. Stop and wait. A mix of Chiffchaffs, Blue Tits, a Great Tit and another, skulking in the gorse. Lesser Whitethroat! That's a result, it's a regular spot for them, but they've been quiet since late May. Another joins it and shows well for about 30 seconds. This flock does seem very autumnal...
A good start to this expedition.
Down on the beach to check on the Sand Martins. No sign. Until 3 come swooping in. One lands on the edge of the nest hole the other feeds it, followed by the other. Cool, parents feeding young. Glad to see they've been successful.
Scope out now and ckeck out the gutter about 150 yards into the mudflats. It's overflowing with Redshank and mingling inbetween them are some Dunlin.
The Redshank number over 1,000, many wading belly deep in the gutter, plenty sheltering from an increasing breeze. I go through all of them but can't find any with colour rings. I'm looking very closely at the Redshank for a couple of reasons.
1. There is a Lesser Yellowlegs on the estuary and it could find it's way here.
2. There are loads of them! On the Dee we get plenty of British breeders, race totanus, and (possibly) an equal number of Icelandic breeders race robusta. It's a pig to separate them and I want to have a go!
It's very tricky, and I'm still trying to get a handle on it, maybe I'll blog about that soon...