Saturday, 17 November 2012

Mud, Sweat and Tears.

Well, that White-Rumped Sandpiper hung around and I again set out for it on this fine Saturday morning. Friday night had brought heavy showers to the area, so mud was obviously going to be an issue. It was pretty bad.

This was by no means the worst area. I didn't want to get my phone out to take pictures in the really bad mud as I was concentrating on keeping my balance and Sod's law I would have slipped and dropped my phone in it.

Did the hike and on the way down met a guy who must have been there very early,on his way back. He informed me that it had yet to be seen today! He had seen it already in the week and wasn't too bothered. Mild panic swept over me, had it vacated the area?

Anyway, I headed on. In the distance I noticed a large group of birders all suddenly moving in the same direction, even better, all,pointing their scopes in the same direction. I hurried on, stepping up the pace as it looked like Lady Luck was smiling on me.

I arrived, set up,scope and as if on cue the White-Rumped Sandpiper appeared from behind a small island and did its thing.

Poor light and distance involved meant good pictures were not going to happen. So I settled for some poor ones. Record shots.

I did however decide to have a go at a digi-video through my scope to see how that turned out. Video is more forgiving of poor light and it actually turned out better than expected.

The walk back to the car was leisurely and mud filled. I encountered a nice flock of Redpoll and plenty of Goldfinches.

As I cleared the mud and got back on Mill Plantation lane, I couldn't help, but smile at the amount of people heading to try their luck with this bird. It's probably the most people I have seen at Middleton. As many of them asked directions to the White Rumped Sandpiper, I assume it was their first visit. The fact most of them were wearing walking boots rather than Wellies suggested they had no idea of the mud bath that awaited them. I almost went back just for the entertainment value. But, that would have been sadistic wouldn't it?


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