Tuesday 31 October 2023

New Bird for Kent & A Lifer .......... Solitary Sandpiper

                                    27th & 30th October 2023 



Solitary Sandpiper photo by Steve Clinch.

News of a Solitary Sandpiper seen at Stodmarsh on 15th October had got most Kent birders in a bit of a frenzy , a photograph had appeared online, however the area it was taken from was all a bit vague ?! which everyone involved in birding knows to well this can lead to doubt and all sorts of hidden plots can start to form.  

There were cry's of hoax by the dipping birding scene the very next day, however one thing was for sure everyone agreed it was a Solitary Sandpiper, however no one could recognize the place the actual  photograph was taken , 

Solitary Sandpiper photo by Andrew Lipczynski.

There was no other sighting of this bird until the 26th October so once again i headed to the Reed bed hide at Stodmarsh on the 27th and was joined by the Who's who of Kent birding .

After 2 hours 30 minutes and a few false alarms with a Green Sandpiper building our hopes up the Solitary Sandpiper was picked out feeding in the foliage at the back of the pool, i watched intently for roughly 1 & half mins trying to get all the ID details that make this a Solitary Sandpiper !!!

It didn't stay long and flew off to the left down the channel and out of sight, i spent another 2 hours in the hide but it never reappeared.

The Solitary Sandpiper showed really well on the Saturday morning from the Reed bed hide (however i was at home !!), a brief 2 hour visit Saturday afternoon drew a blank so i decided to head to the Boathouse on Monday morning.

30th October 2023


Another 4 hour vigil at Stodmarsh this time looking at a small patch of mud near the Boathouse , heavy rain came & went but no Sandpiper !!

I went back to my car for a drink and rest my back deciding whether to either give it a couple more hours or go home and be content with my Friday views ??

Then the magical Mega alert went off , the Solitary Sandpiper was back in the pool near the Tower hide, so off i went and finally after approx 10 hours in total i had the views i really craved for of this superb Solitary Sandpiper !!!

Here are a selection of photos i took of this superb bird :

Solitary Sandpiper

And here are a couple of Digi-scoped photos of the tail showing the dark bar running through the rump and tail plus the barring.

Dark through the rump & tail.

Barring on the tail.

The Solitary Sandpiper is not only a 1st for Kent but a new bird for me to.

Many thanks to Steve .C. & Andrew .L. for the use of their photos plus a big congrats to the original finder of the Solitary Sandpiper.



Monday 16 October 2023

New Bird for My Oare Marsh Bird list............Plus a Lifer in Wales

                                          22nd September 2023 

                              St. Govens Head Wales


Magnolia Warbler. Photo by Steve Clinch.

An early morning trip to South Wales proved very successful with superb views of this amazing Magnolia Warbler.

We saw it several occasions fly catching and just generally moving through the bushes, many thanks to Steve Clinch for letting me use his superb photo.

We also saw several Chough & Ravens.


29th September 2023
Oare Marshes


On the 29th September i went to Oare Marshes with AE and we had timed it right for high tide, there were huge numbers of waders coming into the East flood which kept us busy.

After awhile it quietened down a little bit and i got chatting to SC & others and then all of a sudden AE says,  '' i have got a DOTTEREL '' !!!!


I first thought it must be flying with the Golden Plover , so i was really surprised to see it close in to the Pull-in !!!

Dotterel all the above photos are by AE.

I took some Digi scope pics :


This was a proper confirmed Oare Marsh Life tick for me, i had seen one before distantly flying off with Golden Plovers and never felt happy with that view , so many thanks to AE for another great find !!!!