Sunday, 21 April 2013

Hilfield Reservoir - 21.4.13

Dodgy Green Sand pics and Whimbrel

I finally got around to heading over to Hilfield but again not as early as i'd hoped for as I was helping my brother with his garden (telling him how to do it anyway!). After the usual struggle up the c.106 steps I sat down and had a scan but no hirundines were on view. I caught up with Hilfield regular Steve Murray about what had been seen recently and was just thinking about going for a quick wander when he shouted that he's got 2 possible Curlews. Looking skywards I saw nothing until he said they were below treetop level. I picked them up but annoyingly they were flying away from us but luckily they turned round and headed back towards the reservoir. This gave us the chance to see that they both had short downcurved bills. They were Whimbrel! Eventually they landed out of view in the fields of Pages farm. I called Tony Blake who was somewhere on site and he replied he was just going to call me to say he'd heard Whimbrel calling. A brisk walk round to near the viewpoint ensued only interrupted by a calling Common Sandpiper. At the viewpoint they were in the horse field showing well. After 20 minutes I had to go and as I reached the path they called and flew over my head and headed south. A Sedge Warbler sang briefly and 2 Grey Wagtails were on the dam but as I reached the valve tower a sandpiper took off and landed a short distance away. Expecting it to be the Common Sandpiper I'd heard earlier I was amazed to see it was a Green Sandpiper. Another call to Tony was made and after he'd seen it he like me had a Hilfield tick though I had two with the Whimbrel aswell.

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