White-rumped sandpiper in Somerset

September 16, 2012  •  2 Comments

I've hardly been out with the camera over the last few months but had a couple of chances over the last two days.  This coincided with an obliging white-rumped sandpiper, a bird I'd never heard of until yesterday.  This chose to settle on a flooded field by the river Parrett near Steart and it has been keeping company with curlew sandpiper (another bird new to me), a spotted redshank and some dunlin and wagtails.  A lot of these have been disappearing as the tide in the estuary drops and then returning as the level rises but the white-rumped sandpiper stays put.  I understand that this may be the second ever record in the county. (Correction thanks to Ash Warne, at least the 6th WRS in the county.)

At a glance, it resembles a dunlin but it can be distinguished by longer wings that protrude well beyond its rump, a white rump most visible during flight and by buff colouration near the base of the bill.  I was pleased to get some reasonable although distant pics over the last couple of overcast days and some lousy pics that serve to show the rump in flight.

White-rumped sandpiper and Curlew sandpiperCurlew sandpiper and White-rumped sandpiper White-rumped sandpiperWhite-rumped sandpiper - Calidris fuscicollis White-rumped sandpiper in flightWhite-rumped sandpiper - Calidris fuscicollis White-rumped sandpiper flight shot 2White-rumped sandpiper - Calidris fuscicollis

A very pleasant addition to the day today were half a dozen wheatear feeding near one of the piles of soil that has been dug out to make a channel in preparation to making new salt marsh at this site.

WheatearWheatear - Oenanthe oenanthe


Comments

3.WildImaging
Thanks Ian.

Most of these shots including those in flight were taken with the 600mm with the 1.4x teleconverter mounted on a sturdy tripod with a gimbal head. I know some people do hand hold the 600mm but I find it too heavy.

Cheers

Tim
2.Ian Thorp(non-registered)
Good to see a new blog Tim, I look regularly and enjoy the content. I think the BIF were pretty good in the cicumstances, I guess 600mm hand held!!?
We have found Ham Wall, Shapwick and Greylake rather quiet in May to September so don't visit. Hopefully it will pick-up in October.
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