Monday, July 25, 2016

Baird's Sandpiper @RSPBMinsemere

Had a quiet morning with family when news broke of a Baird's Sandpiper at Minsmere. Not a mega rarity, I know, but still one I 'needed'. I couldn't go before the late afternoon, but somehow I managed to remain friendly for the rest of the day and my family didn't suffer too much from me. At 17:00 I met up with Drew and we drove down. Quick walk to East Hide and the bird was showing immediately. We had great scope views in which we appreciated the unique structure: never-ending rear and slightly down-curved bill. It was an adult with a contrasting plumage and a nice pectoral band. It fed almost constantly on the mud, mostly solitary or with Little Ringed Plover, it stayed away from the Dunlin flock. What a great little yank! I was very happy to see it, in fact it was a lifer. But photography was near impossible. The bird stayed in the distance most of the time, only just before we left it moved a few meters closer, but was still about two hundred meters away. Light was not good too - either too dark or we were looking into the sun. I am playing around now with my new phonescoping adapter - certainly need to get more practice.

Adult Baird's Sandpiper, phonescoped using Samsung Galaxy S5 through Swarovski ATX95 and Novagrade adapter

Tried shooting with my DSLR and 500 mm too, not sure if the results are any better...

We watched it and watched it, and I was mainly faffing around with my gear, failing to produce a decent photo of it. All in all the experience was great. Minsmere is really fun to visit. Tons of birds and some more quality too apart from the baird's. There was a Caspian Gull and a Yellow-legged as well; 3 Spotted Redshank; Green Sandpiper; 4 Little Ringed Plovers; 5 Bearded Tits.

Caspian Gull - 3cy?

Sunset over Minsmere

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