20 May 2010

Brandon in the evening

After a long day at work I decided to make an evening trip to Brandon Marsh for the first time this year, picking up a few wonderful sightings in the process.

The headline birds were a temminck's stint (my first since 2005, that also at Brandon) and the pair of garganey (my first of the year, the male already well into moult).

But alongside these I had a generally wonderful evening in the sunshine, passing a tranquil hour watching lapwing flying lazily over teal pool, a redshank sweeping the far bank, three separate sightings of cuckoos in flight (again, my first of the year), a female great crested grebe carrying at least one youngster on her back, little ringed plovers running all around the main island on east marsh pool, and loads more besides.

I normally do my birding in the morning, but there is something special about a summer evening. This one was no exception.

Bird of the day: Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii), a tiny but elongated wader which breeds mainly in the arctic - fewer than 100 are seen every year in England as they pass through on migration, so every sighting is a little bit special.

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