Friday, 29 September 2017

Stilt Sandpiper@Middlebere Dorset

I arrived on site and had to wait around for four hours before I luckily managed to locate the bird feeding in and out of view in one of the many channels. 

This is my fourth Stilt Sandpiper in the UK but my first juvenile. The bird was distant at best but luckily it finally gave up the ghost and showed as it fed out on the upper-flats of this inter-tidal channel of Middlebere Lake. 

Also when the birder with the Swarovski ATX 95 offered the opportunity to view the Stilt Sandpiper through his scope, made me want to chuck my STS 80 in the bin. 

The above image shows the view from the hide at Middlebere Farm looking accross the channel at Middlebere Lake with Arne RSPB reserve in the background and below shows the hide on the Arne side of the channel. As estuaries and area's of inter-tidal mudflats go this has to be one of the most scenic with a beautiful backdrop.

There was no way my 1-400mm Zoom was going to pick anything up on this bird at the distance and so it was back to digital-scoping, the videos above and below give the idea.

However, not everything was so distant, this Fox was much appreciated by all. I spent around 4 hours watching the Stilt Sandpiper and just enjoying the surrounding views and the fact I was out, I don't enjoy sitting in hides as a rule but sometimes it has to be done. I was just getting ready to pack up and leave the hide at 18.00 after arriving at 10.00 when a local advised me to hang around as a Barn Owl often shows at around 18.30, so I decided to give it a go and at 18.10 this Barn Owl had a fly-by and then landed on the post right in front of the hide. 

Other sightings included; 
Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Common Buzzard, 
Blackwit, Avocet, Curlew, Dunlin, Knot 9, 
Spotted Redshank 2 ads, 3juvs, Greenshank 
2, Redshank, Oyc,Snipe, Spoonbill, 
Little Egret, Kngfisher. 

I decided to overnight locally and went back the following day, where I happily bumped in to Martin M of WWT, this was a real nice couuple of days and big thanks to Dorothy and Trevor for such great company and Martin M for the catch up.


  1. Nice Blog, Good to meet you today at Lytchett Fields. Good luck with the rest of your week in Dorset!

  2. Thanks Alan, U2, had the Stilt Sand each day so far, c u soon.

  3. Hi Simon, Caught up with you at last,it was it was great to meet you at Middlebere, Dorothy said thank you for lemon curd tart and biscuits etc,we would also like to thank you for the help you gave us. We love the video's also the beautiful photo's of the Honey Buzzards etc also the back view of us and the Fox it made our Day. Keep up the good work hope to see you again. Very good wishes, Trevor and Dorothy.

  4. Nice to hear from you Trevor and Dorothy, and thank you for the comment, hope you are both well and you have my email so drop by if you ever need anything.