Saturday, 27 July 2013
I joined the gaggle of birders and scopes perched high above the Foxton Bends of the River Aln near Alnmouth this afternoon to see a rare vagrant from the other side of the Atlantic- a Spotted Sandpiper- only the third record of this species for the county.(It's similar in size and behaviour to our Common Sandpiper.) Travelling further down the coast to East Chevington, there were many more interesting waders gathered on the exposed mud (following the recent hot dry spell.) In front of the hide, there were least three Knots and a Curlew Sandpiper still sporting much of their summer breeding colours. Many Dunlins were also probing in the soft mud; they still had their distinctive black belly patches.Over to the right, a Wood Sandpiper periodically came out from the edge of the reeds; a solitary Green Sandpiper over to the left rarely left the comparative safety of the reedy shore.Did I mention the Little Tern.......... or the Little Egret.........or the low flying Sea-King Helicopter which spooked everything up into the air? The waders were undoubtedly the stars today!