Sunday, 17 September 2017

Baird's Sandpiper

                                           Baird's Sandpiper (pic Dave Franz)
                                               Haworth's Minor
                                                  Pink Footed Geese (67 )
Well , well , well what a brilliant week , Wednesday night I got in late and looked at my phone small wader at Whiteholme , ??  and then another message  possible Baird's Sandpiper ?? after looking at some photos , I could not tell what it was but it had some very long primarys and if NCD and DFranz  think its a Bairds it probably is...
 Arrived at Whiteholme  at 7.50 and was surprised to see no cars. The long walk to the reservoir produced 3/4 Wheatear , 30 meadow pipits , 3 Pied Wagtail and a skien of 32 Pink Footed Geese. arriving at the res not a single birder looking. After an hour not a single wader had been  seen , Alan Nuttal turned up and we both gave the area a good scoping , but nothing , we then headed for the old twite feeding station to see if was in that corner....nothing. With now nearly 2 hours looking it was looking like the bird had moved on . Another scope of the mud banks , and in the far northern corner a small dot was picked up, I pointed it out to Alan ,,,he immediatley said we are going to have to walk all the way back round.
  Finally we made it to the back corner and there it was a stunning Baird's Sandpiper in all its glory with brilliant autumn sunshine picking out the birds beautiful plumage. It called twice 'prrrrt ' very similar to Dunlin  ,  white flanks , straight black bill, black legs with a slight greenish tinge in the sunlight, long primary projection , dark rump , scaly above with a slightly buffish   breast and head with the pale indistinct pale area between the eye and bill. Hope everyone gets to see it and well done to NCD and DFranz for there hard work in finding it ...Also it was great to meet up with Allan Nuttal we had a real morning re finding it and going through all the id features... (just to make sure)  That makes 3 American waders in land locked Halifax over the years ....
  With a busy week I did not make it back to see it again and by all accounts it gave most people the run around  . Saturday was a real vis - mig morning  with House Martins (1200 +) and Swallows 900 + pouring south west all morning ,  at one point about 250 House Matins and 150 Swallows were feeding low to the ground in the local fields, a great feeling stood in the middle of that was good to get  one of these days , as when vis - mig is good its brilliant .Looking back best day counts are as follows
House Martin           1240.... 16 Sept
Swallow                    956.......16 Sept
Whooper Swan          239.......22 March
Pink Footed Goose   1554.......2 .Nov
Meadow Pipit           1784.......30..Sept
Redwing                   5447.......15 Oct
Fieldfare                  1975........16  Oct
Swift                         491..........20 May
Woodpigeon          50,434........10th Nov
Alba Wagtail                 87.......28th Sept
A poor week for moths with Brown Spot Pinion being the only moth of note, it has been the best year for Red Admiral I can remember with them being seen all over Calderdale . Haworths Minor  Fly Flatts   19.09.17