Champions of the Flyway!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


After stopping over with the old man in Flamborough last night, an early morning walk to the beach at South Landing was on the cards, despite the thick fog that greeted us as we left the house. Hoping for a little wader action, heading down the slipway expectations were suitably lowered, with the tide at its highest and the lifeboat crew starting a practice session.

Surprisingly however, a small flock were busy feeding along the sandy strandline, and allowed fantastically close approach. Consisting of 20-odd Dunlins and four frankly gorgeous Sanderlings in various states of summer/winter moult, we camped out with them for a while before disturbance beckoned. They got used to our presence within a minute or so, and soon ignored us completely, coming so close as to render the 400 lens useless at times....

One of the birds (arguably the prettiest, in stunning full summer splendour) was colour-ringed and flagged, which will no doubt prove fascinating when I get the results - check back for updates....

Talking to Ian M about them a little while afterwards, he told me he's been checking South Landing almost daily of late and there have been precisely zero waders recorded, so we got lucky, even with (or perhaps because of) the fog. There followed an overflowing moth-trap to empty and a dramatic, nail-biting climax to the first Ashes test. Not a bad morning at all.