Saturday, 3 November 2012

Lesser Yellowlegs

I went on an excursion to Ernesettle in Plymouth yesterday in search of the Lesser Yellowlegs. The sky darkened, a rainbow appeared, and by the time I'd made it down to the water's edge, the heavens opened. I wasn't sure if I was in the right place, but the tide was on its was out so I started scanning the mud from under my little collapsible brolly, which unfortunately lived up to its description & collapsed. The rain stopped as soon as I was wet, but at least my optics were still dry.

Looking East along Ernesettle Creek
There were plenty of Redshanks, a few Greenshanks & a couple of Curlews. I'd been looking for a while & was peering  into the distance inspecting at a load of red legs, when suddenly a pair of yellow legs walked through the middle of them. They were so far away that I couldn't see much else of the birds, but those legs were unmistakable....even by me! It wandered about for a few minutes before vanishing into a channel, reappearing briefly and then vanishing behind a hump. The worst view ever, but I was happy!

A birding couple then arrived, followed swiftly by another chap, Tom, with his camera. Unfortunately the Yellowlegs didn't pop out again, so we moved further east along the bank in the hope of a better view. We could see further into the channel, but only saw Redshanks so headed back almost to the slipway again. And there it was! Directly opposite & much closer than before! This time I could see all of its features, including its white rump & barred tail. Unfortunately I only had my little Lumix 'point & shoot' camera with me.

It was on the bank behind the spot ( a yellow wheelie bin!) in the rear channel 
Here it is... photo taken by Tom Whiley (thanks Tom!)
I left Ernesettle & headed a bit further up the estuary to explore Lopwell. I didn't find many birds, but it was very pretty.

South from Lopwell dam 
Crossing the river involved a walk across the slippery causeway
The 'reservoir' is more of a marsh! 
On Thursday we'd had an interesting encounter whilst out walking along the cliffs just East of Exmouth. A large bird suddenly swooped down and landed on the cliff edge about 20 feet away. It was wearing a bell & a few minutes later an American lady arrived wearing a big glove. It was apparently a young Red-tailed Hawk out learning its trade.
Out 'walking' the hawk.
Year List now on 205

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