By their very nature blog posts are generally retrospectives. Unfortunately I have not been able to spend much time in NZ26 this week. So I could only watch from a distance as another Whinchat went begging. However it was the addition of Wood Sandpiper by @joe_dobinson that got me thinking about waders. So on the way home up the M62 I had to call in at RSPB Blacktoft. There were a fabulous selection of Spotted Redshank, Ruff, Green Sandpipers and a few other species. I don’t miss sitting in a shed listening to people complain ‘it’s only a marsh harrier’ or disappointed the spotted crake was not showing, but I do miss the waders.
In the mean time it appears the field South of the Scotswood Bridge is just damp enough to let Curlew on to feed. This seems to be quite high risk for them as the grass is long and easily able to hide a fox. The four or five there seem to be quite short billed youngsters. Perhaps there is too much competition with adults on a rising tide . Or perhaps the long billed adults can’t make the field pay.
the photo above is of a young bird taken by my mate Barty Madden who is turning out some great photos many of which can be viewed on his blog -Eastern Bushchat.
PS I realise Blacktoft isn’t really on the way home but it is a good place to go.