A nice sunny morning with a slight wind coming in over the estuary and as I made my way out over the mudflats I pass the usual estuary folk working away. I scan in the far distance and I am pleased to see small flocks of Waders flying near the tideline which is still a long way off. The day has a good positive vibe to it and I continue to walk out. As I get nearer a Merlin shoots through but landed on a disguarded piece of bamboo which allowed enough time to get the photo below.
As I get nearer the tideline large numbers of Saunders Gull's fly overhead calling and one pair decided to deck down in the water just on the edge of the tideline. I want to get some photos of these smart looking Gull's and so I make my way slowly closer towards them. I get close enough and I decide to switch from scope and digi set up to my new Digital SLR and I start to get some shots. I managed to get this series of photo's here in this posting and I was actually kneeling down in the water getting soaked and my rubber boots were filling up with the incoming tidal water, but "hey, what the hell" I managed to get these photos of this absolute "cracking small Gull" and "I can't rate this Gull highly enough. They are just Cracking"
After the Saunders Gull photo shoot I walk out of the water and back on the mudflats where I begin to scan through the Wader's that are congregating on the mudflats as they are being pushed up by the rising tide.
There is a marked increase in Great Knot today and I count 73 birds feeding in small flocks in my area.(photo below).
Whilst scanning through the Wader's I noticed this flag ringed Barwit and I am just to far away to read the engraved code. I have to get the detials of this bird but I can't get to close to fast as the birds will spook and fly and this bird will be lost forever. I eventually managed to get close enough without flushing the flock of Barwit's it was amongst and I got the record shot (below) which was enough to document this record / observation for the ringing scheme. I suspect that this is a Darwin ringed bird.
After "nailing" the details of the Barwit I move on and start scanning through the smaller waders of Dunlin and Red necked Stint's and soon enough I managed to locate a roosting Spoon Billed Sandpiper. (Photo below)
After getting a few records shots of the Spoon Billed Sandpiper (above) I resume scanning through the flocks and another Spoon Billed Sandpiper "gives up the ghost" (below) and shows as it feeds in the small channels of the area of close by mudflats. This bird is in a more advanced stage of its moult in to breeding plumage. By the end of this tide's cycle I had managed to locate 3 Spoon Billed Sandpiper's and as I walked back to the seawall I felt quite pleased with today's Wader counts, species and the Saunder's Gull's photo's. "A Good Tide"