19th and 20th July. I found my twitch returning on Tuesday evening! I received a telephone call from Tom (and a txt from AK) telling me that a Terek Sandpiper had been reported at Holywell. We couldn’t afford to miss such a bird in the area we walk so much, so it didn’t take long for us to get down there. My tea was left to heat up on return!
Such a ‘twitch’ could have brought us a ‘cracking’ bird and a ‘lifer’ for us both. Unfortunately it seemed that the bird had flown long before our arrival and we ‘dipped’. No one else that we met during the evening had had a sniff of the Terek Sandpiper, so at least no one could ‘grip’ us off. Someone we bumped into during the evening suggested that he may have seen a Red-necked Stint at St Mary’s. I suspect it was a genuine error and in fact the bird was more likely one of the arriving summer plumage Sanderling. Anyway I wasn’t going to follow that ‘string’. Yes I have all the twitching jargon now!
Despite there being no luck with Terek Sandpiper we had a very good evening anyway with yet another Lesser Whitethroat in the hedges not far from the public hide, one remaining juvenile Little Ringed Plover and good sightings of nicely plumaged Common and Lesser Black Backed Gulls. As seems common place there was the Great Spotted Woodpecker at the feeding station and small flocks of both Lapwing and Redshank. We missed by minutes, the two Little Egrets. East Pool held very little. We chatted to a couple of guys who regularly watch the area. I was pleased to hear that they had read my blog on occasions and those of others. I didn’t ask for too many comments.:-) As way of consolation for missing the Terek Sandpiper (I’m told there is a photo knocking about) we ended the evening in the pub). Time flew and I had a very late re-heated tea!
Wednesday evening was a planned seawatch before going on to the Rising Sun Country Park. Despite the usual ominous cloud threatening stormy weather we went for it and in fact it remained dry all evening. You can get the flavour of the birds seen on Tom’s blog at AughtonBirder. I’ll just say it included several Manx Shearwaters and Arctic Skuas. One of the later being a close in light phase bird. We’d started at St Mary’s taking in waders and terns and its where we bumped into BR who had also been on a seawatch.
After giving a bit of time to seawatching we warmed up with chips and then adjourned to the pub again. This time to celebrate Tom’s lifer in Manx Shearwater, which was also a year tick for me. I have to say I’m really getting into this type of birding. That is, both seawatching and beer and bird evenings.:-) So pleasant was the evening we never did make the Rising Sun. There’s always another time.:-) To tired to write my blog last night.