First light saw me stationed in my car alongside the ‘painted-snipe marsh’. There were several birds extremely close, but getting them out in the open was another matter!
Eventually a young female appeared, feeding by delicately picking insects off the top of the grass stems.
Sorry to slip this in! Just to illustrate how frustrating these things can be – I got a sharp shot showing the outer tail and I still can’t identify it! There aren’t quite enough of the outer tail feathers showing for me to be certain if this is Pintail or Swinhoe’s Snipe.
From here I moved to the ‘snipe ditch’, but I have shown most of the shots from there in this post. Once it started to get really hot, I moved to the coast and hired a boat for a couple of hours to try my luck on the advancing tide.
Of course, I was only looking for one bird amongst all that lot – the Spoonie we had photographed in February, so most of my attention was focused on the Red-necked Stints.
There were plenty to look through…
Curlew Sandpipers (left) are, in turn, dwarfed by Great Knots.
A mystery tern in the roost. This bird was much smaller-billed than the Common Terns (the three right hand birds) and too long-tailed to be a Whiskered. I didn’t spot this in the field, only on my monitor when checking later that evening, so I only have a single frame. Initially, I thought this might be an Aleutian Tern, but eventually, with help from others, I concluded that the best fit is a Common Tern with an exceptionally small bill.
There were plenty of opportunities to practice taking flight shots as the tide rose. Here are a few.
Curlew Sands all in a row!
Lesser Sand Plover.
No Spoonie in the end, but a good slection of birds, and a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours!