Saturday (20th September) was supposed to be another ringing session, but unfortunately, with the tides not quite high enough, the Sanderling and Ringed Plover decided not to cooperate! Because of the nature of cannon netting, you only get one shot at it, so we called it off and packed up much earlier than planned. Last year, however, was much more successful with over 500 birds caught in total!
Being in Hayling Island and having the rest of the day to use, fellow NGBer Josie and I decided to make the most of it. We started at Sandy Point which was a short walk from where we’d been hoping to ring. For the past fortnight or so a Red-backed Shrike had been lurking in the reserve there and had been refound this morning, so we were hopeful. It was a while before the Shrike reappeared, but when it did it showed well and quite close to the fence, making us all rather happy! This was a lifer for both myself and Josie as we’d never seen any Shrike species before.
Next stop was a trip to my patch, Titchfield Haven to see if the Lesser Yellowlegs was still about. To our joy it was, and had been joined by a Curlew Sandpiper and 2 Little Stints – those are 2 species I’d always intended to see by visiting Keyhaven but after getting great views closer to home, I’ll save my bus fare for another time. I’d visited my patch the day before too, and was lucky enough to see a Ruff as well as the species mentioned above. What a great mix of wading birds!
The Little Stints were running around close to a group of Black-tailed Godwits which was good for a size comparison. They’re tiny!
We then scanned Hill Head as it was low tide. There were the usual mix of Turnstone, Ring Plovers, Redshanks and Oystercatchers as well as 59 Black-tailed Godwits one of which was colour ringed.