An introduction to Sandpipers

A day off work last week, so I took a trip to Pulborough and Arundel.

Arrived early at Pulborough and enjoyed seeing no one and having the place to myself for a couple of hours. Saw more bunny rabbits than I thought possible, some rather tame (or stupid) and didn't move till I got within just a few feet of them.

About 9.30 I made for the hide overlooking the north fields as I knew a huge shower was heading my way (thanks to my early warning system, a.k.a. my other half in Bognor!), and boy did it rain! Half an hour of it chucking it down. It had its benefits though, as a warden had been giving a tour and they dived in to shelter from the rain, and he ended up pointing out two lifers for me which he kindly allowed me to see through his scope.

So I saw some green sandpipers, and a ruff as well. There was also my first Sussex Little Ringed Plover. There were some common sandpipers too, but I don't think I managed to see them in the end, but I did learn the difference between those two sandpipers!

All these were too far for me to see with just my bins, making me even more determined to get a scope once I can afford one.

Other highlights of the reserve were my first hobby of the year, and standing around in one spot for a good 10 minutes just watching treecreepers and then nuthatches frollicking about :t:

I popped down to Arundel in the afternoon where they are draining the main scrape lake to do work to improve the types and numbers of waders and waterfowl. There was only a small area of water left, meaning that there was some mud condusive to some waders. Along with lapwings (and four young ones, which looked very cute!), there was a single dunlin with its black belly patch, and lo and behold, one green sandpiper and one common sandpiper which just landed in front of me in the hide! Had I not had my lesson earlier in the day, I probably would have struggled to ID them!

All in all a lovely day's birding, my first lifers for a couple of months, some firsts for the year or for my Sussex life list, and some good views of other birds. Top banana! :t:

This weekend am in London. So perhaps WWT Barnes, or RSPB Rainham Marshes.