Buff-breasted Sandpiper in the rough

An excellent start to the day – awoke at first light, felt the wrath of snorty north-westerlies battering the house, turned over and went back to sleep. Made another, more spirited attempt at getting up at 9.30am, and was mid-coffee when JLI called to let me know some visiting birders had found a Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the golfcourse. Perfect timing, as I could slurp the rest of my coffee, feed the hens, and then be collected by JLI to go and relocate said sandpiper, which had seemingly flown off shortly after being found. And which was, when we called as we walked onto the golfcourse, relocated by the finders, and still showing. Splendid.

And then not so splendid. It flew off with some Dunlin just before we reached the 2 birders who’d found it. And thus began my day on the golfcourse. I must have covered some 10+ miles trekking back and forth on the fairways. And the rough, of course. Much of this accompanied by JLI, and initially BM too. And you know what? Not a sniff of the bird did we get. A maximum count of 3 Ringed Plovers, and 2 Dunlin, and sod all else.

Still, having seen Buff-breasted Sandpiper before here (and from the bedroom window) I’m not over-bothered. It’d have been nice, but at least the visiting birders have something to show for their time on the island. One of them told me they’d come here as it was underwatched! It’s maybe not overwatched, but underwatched it certainly ain’t. (Apart from when I wake up, hear the sound of north-westerlies, and decide to have a lie-in).

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