Yesterday’s trip was to Alkborough Flats in Lincolnshire, a place I have often visited and enjoyed. Given the start of the wader migration I thought that if I got there before high tide, then I might find any waders being forced up the mud bank in front of the hide, allowing some excellent views. Unfortunately, while this may have been the case a few years ago, it now seems that the inlet for the water makes it rise quickest in front of the hide, forcing the birds away from the hide. Given that yesterday saw a spring tide it quickly became apparent that the depth of water over the mud bank would be greater than the length of the legs of the birds. As a result they all moved over the far reed beds and onto a different and less accessible (for me) lagoon. As I had made the effort to be at Alkborough for an early morning high tide, this is something I will learn from for the future.
However, things were far from being ruined. Not long after arriving two elegant Spoonbills awoke from their post feeding slumber and gave some fantastic views almost in front of the hide. There was some stretching, individual preening, mutual preening, and parading before they took their leave and followed some the smaller waders to the far lagoon. Of the other waders on show some were too distant to see other than with a scope; these included Lapwing, Avocet, Sandpipers – Green and Common around the reed beds, and Wood in the flooded field behind the hide – as well as Greenshank, and Curlew.
|Up close and personal.....|
|And finally, flying.....|
While the tide was high I took the opportunity to walk the long perimeter of the reserve. Strangely there were probably more dragonflies than birds about. I came across a few Linnets and Meadow Pipits, and even encountered a Green Woodpecker in the trees under the escarpment. Otherwise the only notable birds were the 20 or so Yellow Wagtails feeding up on flies and other insects around the areas of water. The dragonflies were limited to Common and Ruddy Darter, and Broad-Bodied Chasers.
|Juv Yellow Wagtail|
|Common Darter (female)|
|Ruddy Darter (male)|