Today, again like yesterday and the day before that and the day before that I walked out through the area of spartina grass and headed for the mudflats of the area of zone c. I planned my time to be on site as the tide was retreating due to the fact there was no where safe to sit out the high tide. The weather was grey and wet and didn't look like improving but I had to go with it. Just as I reached the PONR (point of no return) the sky went black and the distant rumble of thunder began. It got louder and nearer with the odd fork of lightning shooting over head. The heavens opened and the rain just didn't stop, well not for near on 3 hours, the thunder was so loud and the lightning strikes were far to close for comfort and there I was stood out on the open area of mudflats, alone, no shelter with a metal manfrotto tripod! "Great just great" nothing like a good old metal pole to conduct electricity. I kept asking myself why I didn't get that carbon fibre model before leaving for China. I was soaked through to the skin and it was as if I had been swimming and the thunder almost shook me and the lightning actually gave me cause for concern. The waders were also pouring in at this point with flocks of great knots and barwits being the first, followed by dunlin, red necked stints and the odd spoon billed sandpiper. It was just at this point the rain stopped and the sun broke through the clouds, the wind picked up and I managed to start scanning more constantly. I was at the same area of mudflats as yesterday where the spoon billed sandpipers were and yet again, today they didn't fail. I started observing adult birds and then first summer birds. I did several counts and each time I came up with the same figure of 21 spoon billed sandpipers. This consisted of 12 adults and 9 first summers. I was lucky enough to have 19 birds feeding around me for over an hour.
Above shows 1 of the 9 first summer spoon billed sandpipers present today. I must admit that this was a very nice moment just sat there, alone out on the mudflats, nearly 7 kilometres from the shoreline of the seawall just watching this mini-flock of adult & 1st summer spoon billed sandpipers feeding in the shallows of the small pools and depressions created after the tide had retreated. It didn't take long before the clouds began to gather over head and more rain started to fall. It was at this point the spoon billed sandpipers were starting to head out further and so I decided to start the long walk back. Upon returning back to the hotel and as I started to dry my equipment out that my Canon was dead just showing me an "error" message. Basically that was the end of the SLR for this trip at least. Below shows one the local "estuary folk" that was present out on site repairing nets just as I was getting ready to to leave.