There were signs of wader movement locally this week.
On Wednesday the 21st, I received a call from local birder Matt Farmer in the early afternoon to say that he had found a Greenshank at one of the pits at Holmethorpe. As he was birding during his lunch break, he couldn't hang about so I headed for the pits to add this species to my local year list. Living in a land-locked county means that even common waders are scarce locally.
When I arrived, Matt had already left but, fortunately, the Greenshank was still present, feeding around a sand spit.
(VIDEO) GREENSHANK (Graham)
Then, during the following evening, Thursday the 22nd, a phone call came from local birder Neil Randon (of Randon's Ramblings blog fame) to say he had found another wader with a reddish breast. Neil is fairly new to birding but has already proved to be a very capable birder with a very respectable Surrey list for the year.
Neil wasn't 100% certain of the bird's identity but, from his description, it sounded good for a godwit.
I headed for the pits again and Neil was still present watching the bird. Sure enough, it was a Black-tailed Godwit being only the fifth record of this species at Holmethorpe.
I returned the following morning and the godwit was still present, feeding in exactly the same spot as the previous evening and in the same place that the Greenshank had been earlier in the week. This time I was joined by Paul and we managed a few digiscoped shots of the bird.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Paul)
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Graham)
(VIDEO) BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Paul)
I emailed the other local birders and both Matt Farmer and Kevin Guest (from Beddington SF) turned up around mid-day, but the bird was nowhere to be seen by then.
Holmethorpe is usually better in the spring for wader passage but, hopefully, this autumn will see a few more birds turn up.