Saturday 8th December 2012

   Nice, sunny, but cold weather, so i had my first chance to give the Temmincks Stint, which had been showing for a few days, at Steart/Stockland Reach in Somerset, a go. So, after a fair and muddy walk, probably a mile+, i was watching the 1st Winter bird, which had been originally ID'd as a possible Least Sandpiper. The yellow legs showed well, and you could see why the finders had thought this possible! The bird showed well, but just too distant for the best photos, i took some anyway, and crossed my fingers that it would come closer. After an hour or so of walking along the edge of the ditch, it reached the end of it. The ditch then turned towards where we were standing, maybe it would follow this, better photos, maybe??? It seemed to take ages to get right to the end, stopping, feeding, preening all the way! It got to the end flew, bugger! But, it flew towards the seawall and landed a lot closer, lots of photos were taken before it walked away from us, and then decided to stretch its wings a bit more. It flew around the fields a bit, 'trilling' as it went. I then lost it in the sun, and it went quiet. About 3minutes later it flew back over the seawall, calling again. It landed near to its original spot, then ran away and flew again. This time its disappeared for longer, and had not returned by the time i left. I found out it returned a bit later though.
Temmincks Stint
   Also there was some large flocks of waders. Mainly Dunlin and Redshanks, but also a lot of Lapwing and Golden Plover. I also found 11 Avocets on the walk back. In the field near the Temmincks field was a flock of 50+ Stock Doves, lots of Starlings and 100+ Linnets. Two or three Buzzards were there and a couple of Kestrels were seen too.
Temmincks Stint

   While still at Steart, i was told that a friend had found some Waxwings nearby in Combwich. So, that was to be our next stop. Sadly, as usual with Waxwings, they had disappeared by the time we got there.

   We then moved on to Catcott Lows. There was a fairly close Great White Egret there. No rings this time. Quite a few Snipe flew around the reserve. A distant Kestrel, was the only Raptor though. Only a few ducks there at the moment, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Pintail. I then noticed a swan which had come a bit closer than the others. It was a adult Whooper, one of the Tadham birds maybe??
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