The Safari seems to have been neglectful of our duties and not informed you we went up north a-ways with BD at the weekend to see if we could see an American visitor to our coast.
We drove up in sunshine and arrived at the site only to be told our quarry was no longer in the roadside creek only a few yards away but had flown onto the estuary where there was a huge expanse of mudflats for it to enjoy and huge numbers of Redshank in which to secrete itself. Off to the estuary we went and found a small crowd of telescoped birders stood on the seawall. The only trouble was we could tell they hadn't found the bird as they were all looking in different directions. We'd have to wait til the tide rose and limited the amount of mud available and probably forcing it back to the creeks.
Cloud rolled in from the south and a cool wind picked up. Out on the river something flushed about 500 or more Lapwings off the flats but the distant Redshank flock stayed put on the deck. We saw four Little Egrets, no sign of the Spoonbill that had been here for the best part of a week though - it would be reported again the following day, would have been a nice bonus bird for our Year List Challenge with Monika, we've not seen one for a few years now dipping out on one a couple of years back.
People drifted away, some giving up and others going to have a look back in the creeks, we chose the later as the sky become more and more threatening and a brief but ferocious squall whipped up out of nowhere.
We got to the little roadside car park and had a look in the creeks from a variety of angles to no avail, just a few Mallards, a Redshank and a Curlew where there. At the furthest point of our short walk there was a rumble of thunder and the heavens opened - we'd set off in sunshine and hadn't brought a coat! A very fast dash to the Land Rover was made without getting too wet. Once the rain eased something made us look over the hedge onto the pool on the opposite side of the road to the creeks and there on the point of the furthest island was a very pale undersided bird with a handful of Redshanks. It was too dark to see it properly but it looked mightily suspicious.Scanning further round there was a Greenshank and a Little Grebe of note. Something flushed some of the Redshanks but all wings showed thick white trailing edges - no joy, then a lone bird flew over the road and a shout went up 'white rump - long trailing legs' - Lesser Yelllowlegs (179) in the bag!
Once again we walked down the road to see where it had landed on the far side of the marsh. Once again the rain came down this time we weren't so lucky and got a bit soggy running back to the Land Rover.
We drove round to the other side and eventually got terrible views in torrential rain in almost night-time dark light, it wasn't even tea-time! BD fired off a few record shots and then it was tick n run; or at least tick n drive as the rain fell even heavier. Thanks v muchly to the folk who generously allowed us a look through their scope standing aside in the deluge while we had a quick peek.
Where to next? Bank holiday weekend and we've a couple of safaris lined up for you and we should be able to get the mothy out tonight - with the 'big' light for a change.
In the meantime let us know who's been braving the deluges in your outback.