Thursday, 14 July 2011

Marsh Sandpiper and Greater Yellowlegs

I managed to get great views of the Marsh Sandpiper on Wednesday at Blacktoft Sands RSPB Reserve. The bird was 'missing' when I arrived however appeared again after a short while roosting up. It eventually showed itself properly, a rather ugly moulting adult. Certainly not the prettiest Marsh Sandpiper I've seen! After a brief spell feeding it flew out of sight around the corner and I decided that I couldn't be bothered to wait for it to come out again so left. There was plenty of Spotted Redshank and Dunlin around with a few Greenshank foraging too.

Whilst at Blacktoft I had to really work hard to resist the urge to drive to Daventry for the Greater Yellowlegs. This urge got harder and harder as the reports kept coming that the bird was "showing well", my main concern was would I be able to get there before it moved off naturally or got flushed! I was good though and came home. After a few more hours of the bird "showing well" I regretted not going as I realised if I had of left when news broke I would likely be watching this mega, as had been many of the UK twitching glitterati who has twitched the bird and already left the site!

After several hours news came out that the Yellowlegs was distant, and then more-or-less simultaneously news that it had been re-identified as a Greenshank. Surely this referred to the latter record when the bird was distant and the Yellowlegs would be somewhere out there? Then a picture was put on birdforum and a couple of blogs showing the Yellowlegs when it was "showing well" - only one problem, it wasn't one! It was a slightly commoner Greenshank!

This amazing balls up is hilarious! Not for the poor bloke who found it and released the news of this "mega" (everyone makes the occasional mistake) but for all those clueless twitchers who happily ticked the bird as Greater Yellowlegs. This really shows the skill levels of many of these people!

I'm glad I stayed at home, I would not have enjoyed turning up on site to realise I'd twitched a Greenshank! If it was Nordmann's then that would be a different story!

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