1st Winter Semipalmated Plover. Note Smaller size.
An early start Saturday morning had me heading to Littlehampton to pick up , Dan Booker , Harry Ramm and Simon Cross . And our destination was Hayling Island in Hampshire and our target bird was a 1st winter Semipalmated Plover which would be a lifer for all of us .
Well we got on site in good time and joined the already assembled group of birders and the wait / search begun , the tide was still out and our only real chance was to wait for the tide to come in so we could scan through the roosting waders .
In the mean time we saw a single Common Tern and large numbers of Dark Bellied Brent Geese , Simon also saw a Little Grebe swimming in one of the channels , eventually a flock of plovers was located at some distance and we all begun to scan through , there were a few false alarms as this bird to most of us was a real i.d challenge , however there were a couple of birders not far from our crew who seemed to be claiming it every other bird that they saw , just shows how careful you must be and not just accept what others say .
You can just about make out shorter stubbier bill.
Eventually a large flock of Sanderling flew in and joined the flock of about 100 Ringed Plover and some keen eared birder heard the Semipalmated Plover calling as it flew in with the Sanderling and it was not long before it was picked out and great scope views were obtained .
The waders all took to flight as the tide kept coming in and were eventually re found on the sea front where the above pics were taken . It was good to catch with many birders today who i only see every now and again , Kevin McCoy , David Campbell and Ephraim Perfect amongst many others . Great days birding in great company.
Here are a couple of pics of the Semipalmated Plover taken by Harry Ramm.
Pale edging on coverts.