Plover from another mother

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 6 May 2012 09:21

Oli and I went to Rye Harbour to twitch the female Kentish Plover on its third day, the first day I had time to get over. We rocked up at the casual hour of 2.00 pm. The reason: BMF seems to have taken priority, a strange occurrence indeed. Anyway, the plover showed well, at times very active and occasionally being lost to reappear later elsewhere. I spotted it in flight at one point, flying straight towards us where it landed very close and allowed these shots through Chris Bentley's scope (ta Chris). Kentish Plover is a British tick for me.
Now, I don't know how much you know about the saltmarsh creation scheme at Rye Harbour but in the last week the waders there have exploded into what can only be called a wildlife spectacle. There were 22 species of wader there yesterday (I failed to see Curlew Sandpiper and Temminck's Stint, they flew off early on so it seems. I traded them for a work out, you can tell I'm wrestling with my priorities). I did see Little Stint, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Lapwing, Turnstone, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Knot etc. Many of these birds were in their less often seen summer plumages too and Barry said that record numbers of birds were being broken frequently! Standing there watching this maelstrom of birds by Lime Kiln Cottage, there was a feeling that anything could turn up. What was unfolding in front of us in a relatively small space was the best wader action I have seen in many years, perhaps to rival that of Titchwell or Minsmere, in fact, I'm not sure if it wasn't the most impressive display I had ever seen. How long will this last and what else will turn up? Awesome stuff, an amazing project has paid off for the team at Rye Harbour!

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