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Pit 60 R.I.P

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A Squacco Heron in Sussex

So this week hasn’t been great.  My lovely Irish setter, Dillon, has a major health problem and I’ve spent a lot of the week trying to get him sorted out via trips for various referrals and tests. It turns out that he has a soft tissue tumor  on his leg which is being operated on next Tuesday. This will probably be followed by radiotherapy to try and remove anything nasty left over. Thanks heavens that we cancelled his health insurance recently because it was too expensive (sic) !!
Getting him sorted has been my big priority this week so birding has had to take second fiddle but today I had the opportunity for some lighter relief.  I got up early and walked the dogs to give Carolyn a bit of a lie in and then did the two hour drive to Pagnham harbor in Sussex to try to connected with a Squacco  heron that has been around for a week or so. This bird is a rare vagrant to the UK from its normal summer range in the mediterranean.
My birding friend Nick visited the bird a week ago and gave me…

Lincolnshire Waderfest!

So it was back to Lincolnshire for another long days birding last Thursday. The attraction was two fold. Firstly, there has been a somewhat unprecedented influx of Wood Sandpipers into the country. This is a passage migrant that I expect to see in ones or twos every year. Exceptionally large flocks landed last week, for example a flock of over 100 were recorded on the Norfolk coast. The opportunity to see so many of these lovely waders together was simply too good to miss. Secondly, although I did “see” the rare American White-rumped Sandpipers 10 days ago at Frampton it was a very poor one out of ten obscured view. So I arrived early at Freiston RSPB on the east coast to be greeted by Wood Sandpipers absolutely everywhere on the medium sized muddy pond know as the reservoir. The two White-rumped sandpipers were also showing on and off reasonably well. The highlight, however, was the big evening 6m high tide which pushed everything off of the salt marshes and onto to the reservoir fo…