The first Wednesday session of the Autumn term saw us venturing into Lincolnshire. We shared cars over the Humber Bridge at the recently discounted rate. The tide was still coming in when we were due to start, so I was hoping for some close views of waders, but the site has been silting up.
Immature Willow Warbler
Black-tailed Godwits [mainly]
Black-tailed Godwits [foreground]
Long-tailed Tit (c) 2012 Aileen Urquhart
Common Blue [female]
Record shot of Immature Water Rail
From the car park I heard Whimbrel and Bullfinch, but couldn't actually see either of them there. Meadow Pipits were heard calling and a pair of Stock Doves flew over. Before we arrived at the 1st hide the class marvelled at a flock of Black-tailed Godwits as they circled the pool several times before coming in to land. There were a couple of Dunlin among the Black-headed Gulls. At the hide itself there were plenty of distant Teal, Shoveler, and a few Shelduck. An unusual call turned out to be a Spotted Redshanks, which landed for a few minutes before heading off with a bog-standard Redshank heading West. A Ringed Plover called several times before being lost to sight. The whole day was punctuated by the calls of Greenshank, but they weren't as easy to see as yesterday.
Along the high bank path we saw at least 10 Yellow Wagtails and a Reed Warbler. As we watched these about 50 Swallows were catching insects above our heads, and these had 2 House Martins in tow. A family of Long-tailed Tits were seen in some bushes along the path, and while we were observing these 3 very bright young Willow Wagtails were seen.
In the final hide Miles spotted something in the reeds, which seemed to be half a mile away. It turned out to be an immature Water Rail, and another passed through the reeds nearby. The juvenile Water Rail was still there in the afternoon.
After lunch some very strange sounds seemed to emanate from a pair of Little Egrets - I've never heard them make a sound before. the large flocks of Swallows had been replaced by 4 soaring Buzzards - one with very tatty wings.