Saturday, 17 August 2013


I was out of the house this morning at 5.30am where the plan was to look for the Mandarin for an hour before driving over to Shuart to meet Chidders to look for the Long tailed Blue that had been seen the day before. The sun was soon shining and the wind was very light which made for pleasant viewing conditions. Despite my 3rd attempt to look for the Mandarin I had no luck again but I did see 1 Kingfisher, 2 Water Rail, c8 Willow Warbler and a few Little Grebe and Tufted Duck. I then made the short drive over to Shuart where after meeting Chidders we walked on down to the railway embankment noting 1 Whinchat, my first of the Autumn, 1 Tree Pipit over calling, 1 Marsh Harrier, 3 Willow Warbler, c30 common Tern, c8 Sandwich Tern and Chidders found a Budgie, yes a bloody Budgie which for some reason we took a lot of shots of! Bringing ourselves back to reality we then walked west along the embankment where we spent a couple of hours looking unsuccessfully for the Long tailed Blue butterfly but despite this, there were hundreds of butterflies of other species on the wing including Common Blue, Brown Argus, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, 6 Clouded Yellow, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Green veined, Large and Small White. We spent a lot of the time photographing the butterflies and was then joined by Derek Smith and Julian Perry where we had a chat about butterflies and dragonflies but with no sign of the Long tailed Blue Chidders and I made our way back along the embankment. It was then that I received a call from Mike Buckland alerting me that he had just found a new species for Reculver at Coldharbour, a Pectoral Sandpiper. We were a good mile and a half away at this time but immediately we turned and made our way towards Coldharbour where once again we met Derek and Julian. I informed them of the news and then Julian, Derek and I just started running and for the next mile or so I don't think we stopped. We know all too well that some birds seen in Coldharbour do not hang around with dog walkers, cyclists and joggers moving them on quicker than we would like so with this in mind we had to get there quickly. We eventually arrived a bit out of breath and sweaty but thankfully right on cue a few Dunlin and the MEGA Pectoral Sandpiper flew into view and landed out on the mud. A good look through the binoculars to see the features needed to id this species and then the camera was called into action. 

Pectoral Sandpiper

Although nice views through the bins and scope were had, it was a little too far for any decent type of shot but for once it was more important to get a few shots of this Reculver new bird as it few with Dunlin. It past a few times in the air enabling me to grab a few rushed efforts but considering the distance, you can at least see what it is. 

 Pectoral Sandpiper (right hand bird)

Pectoral Sandpiper (right hand bird)

With all the locals connecting we then made our way back with huge smiles and thankfully Derek drove us back to Shuart. Although no Long tailed Blue today, this more than made up for not seeing it. Many thank to Mike Buckland for the call and a great find. Hopefully it may hang around and if so I will endevour to get a few more shots next week, if not it was a pleasure to see today. I will post some butterfly shots throughout the week as plenty were taken today!


  1. ....Brilliant Pectoral/Dunlin shot at at the top Marc, and looking forward to seeing your 'plenty were taken today' butterfly images.

  2. Nice one Marc, the luck still holding then ! May try to get down there on Monday .

  3. Hello Marc!
    Found your blog at last!!
    I had lost you for some time in my links!
    Great sightings and photography these days, I see: I have gone through your latest pics!
    I had a few mails from visitors and authors of our blog "Dragonflies from elsewhere", they were quite exited about your dragons! When you have time, you can post some more... ;-)
    Cheerio, keep well!

  4. Great shots. Congrats and best regards.

  5. Always good when the migrants stay just long enough for you to see them Marc, even better when you can get a few snaps of 'em :-)

    God to see you had a Whinchat too.