Sunday, 13 November 2011

WOW! Great Legs!! (Even better pictures)

No I'm not referring to last nights episode of Strictly Come X Factor but Greater Yellowlegs in Northumberland.

On Saturday afternoon I got news of a Greater Yellowlegs moving around the East Chevington area of Northumberland but sounded pretty difficult and mobile. Unfortunately I thought I'd probably not be able to connect with it given the amount of light left in the day. This record represents about the 31st bird in UK (excluding Ireland) but the majority of those records seem to be very short staying birds or birds on islands, so all in all a difficult customer. But the knowledge that it was present to dusk filled me with a little hope...

I was a little surprised, but very happy to hear that it was still present this morning at Hauxley Nature Reserve about a mile south of Amble so sorted out the dogs and the horse and headed north in thick fog the whole way, getting there around late morning.

I sent Dave ahead to secure it for me but an anxious 2+ hour drive ensued. I parked up and walked (very quickly) down to where Dave was saving me a place in the viewing area. In no time at all I was straight on it. The bird was about 40 m away roosting up, however after no time at all it started walking about feeding, all the time coming closer to the crowd, great stuff! I ruled out any possible confusion species such as Greenshank, House Sparrow etc and stood there enjoying the view.

A really cracking view, only interrupted by a Grey Phalarope flying about the place. I managed some pretty naff shots (as usual) on my phone - (will save these for a rainy day, ok I'll allow you one now...). But check out the two images after mine, you'll probably notice the change in quality!, very kindly sent to me by Frank Golding of Cramlington. These photos are reproduced below with permission and are © Frank Golding 2011 - Future Birdgudies Photo of the Week!! Please click on the photo to enlarge them, they are amazing!!!

On my phone... now for the proper ones....

Greater Yellowlegs, Hauxley NR © Frank Golding 2011.

Greater Yellowlegs, Hauxley NR © Frank Golding 2011.

Rounded the trip off with a couple of European White-fronted Geese as I was leaving. Another great bird!

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