Saturday 19th November 2011

   A surprise phone call from Nigel Milbourne yesterday, saying there was a probable Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at Blagdon, WOW! Another rarity, at the lakes! Drove home and straight to Blagdon, no sign!! "Bugger. Try again tomorrow". So this morning saw my Dad and me at Blagdon, along with quite a few others as you can imagine. No sign again. The Long-tailed Duck was still showing well though. We had already sort of planned our day, so decided to head home and then onto Devon for the Desert Wheatear. As luck would have it, as i drove passed the Blue Bowl Inn, the pager went off, the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper had been relocated at Chew, from Herriotts bridge. Turned around in the car park and was there in minutes. No sign. There were about 8 birders there, they said it had walked out of sight behind the reedbed. After a rather frustrating 10-15 minutes a small flock of Dunlin appeared. Scanned through them, still no sign, but another small flock then flew in, "There it is". Brilliant, tried to get my Dad on it, but it disappeared again. Not to worry as we had seen one in Kent a few years ago. The Spotted Sandpiper was also popular, as were the 2 Long-billed Dowitchers which had arrived from Blagdon too.
Desert Wheatear (1st Winter Male)
   Home, then off to Man Sands, Devon. Not been there before, but was fairly easy to find. After about a 3/4 mile downhill walk, i got to the Coastguards cottages, and within minutes there was my first male Desert Wheatear, brilliant (again). We stopped off at Broadsands on the way back home, but nothing really to mention, only Great Crested Grebes there.

 Not a bad day then. Desert Wheatear, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Long-tailed Duck and 2 Long-billed Dowitchers!!!!

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