Friday, 18 May 2012

Ingrebourne Valley: Double Patch Tick

I'm thinking of renaming the blog "Cheers Shaun"; he tweeted earlier about a Common Sandpiper and Shelduck over the Valley, neither of which i have had over there. After getting the kids ready for bed i was given the all important pass to leave.

By just gone 7pm i was at the viewing area; typical no sign of either. I hung around for a while but they still did not appear. A Little Egret dropped in and there were numerous Grey Heron. Rather then head home i decided to look elsewhere.

I was rewarded with my first ever Barn Owl, which i spent many an evenning last year looking for without success. The views were amazing as it came over my right shoulder while i was tucked in against a bush, slowed and then dropped into the long grass no more than 15 foot away; it wasn't a successful hunt. After, it took flight and headed out over the reeds.

It was my 170th life tick & a great patch tick for me at the Valley as well. Getting there slowly but surely.

courtesy of www.ardgrain.com
I headed back to the viewing area for a last look before heading home and there on the small mud mound in front was the Common Sandpiper.

courtesy of wikipedia

I was pleased to see the Common Sandpiper as i have only seen one before, back in August 2011, over at Vange Marsh. The views then were Ok, scoped but only fleeting glimpses as it went in and out of view. This bird spent time in front of me. Constantly bobbing, white patches protruding up from the breast around the light brown bib; small flittery flight here and there (wing bar clearly seen) with more tail bobbing along with body bobbing as well. Cool another patch tick for the Valley.

Valley list for 2012 now at 74
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