Having got the snipes out of the way, I have a bit of catching up to do. First up is this boat survey carried out last month as part of the Cemex/MNS/BirdLife Biodiversity Action Plan project.
Boat surveys don’t always offer very good photo opps, as the birds tend to be rather distant, and the focus is on counting.
Black-tailed Godwits are distinctively long-legged.
Eurasian Curlews are ghostly pale compared to Far Eastern and Whimbrel.
Rivermouths are deeper and have more steeply shelving banks than the shorelines between estuaries, enabling the boat to approach a little more closely. This first winter Nordmann’s Greenshank watched our approach suspiciously…
For example, with this roosting flock, I took photos regularly as I scanned slowly through the flock.
I shot two frames of this part of the flock. On the first, the preening bird’s bill was concealed; on the second, it was perfectly outlined against the white flank, revealing the unmistakable profile of a Spoon-billed Sandpiper. What are the chances of that??!
While watching the wader roost at high tide, we were surprised to see this subadult female Eastern Marsh Harrier approach low over the mangroves. She obviously knew what she would find there!
After tallying up the counts, we had seen 12,550 waders of 22 species, 150 egrets and herons, and 746 gulls and terns.