Sunday, September 1, 2013


This weekend I had two distinctly different birding experiences with two different species of wading bird. The first bird was a beautiful juvenile Dotterel that graced the grassy plateau near the limestone pavement on the Great Orme, Conway. Dotterel breed on grassy tundra and are also a rare breeding bird of the mountain tops in Scotland. This means that they have very little contact with humans and as a result can be quite tame; as was the case with the Welsh bird that approached to within a few feet of where I was sitting in the sunshine. During the two hours that I spent on site only a handful of birders viewed this confiding wader. In total contrast a the Stilt Sandpiper at Neumann's Flash in Cheshire was but a distant speck in my telescope and afforded scant photographic opportunities. But due to its greater rarity many more birders visited this site. On a scale where zero is failing to see a bird at all and ten is giving the proverbial "crippling" views I would award this bird a paltry number one! That is only one better than not seeing the bird at all. OK, joking aside, it was a Cheshire tick for me, but the Stilt Sands that I have seen before at Minsmere in 1997 and in Dorset in 2011 gave much better views. But I wouldn't go as far to say that it was a bad as the Great Knot in the Northeast in 1996, but that's another story.

Although the sun shone brightly for most of the day the wind was
quite strong and the bird made the most of this outcrop of
limestone that offered some respite from the relentless breeze.

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