3 DAY LINCS TOUR – DAY 2

Leaving my Skegness basecamp nice and early for day 2 of my tour I headed for Gibraltar Point, this is not a place I visit very often my visits have been pretty quiet in the past but never the less I do always enjoy going there. I was first in the car park on this cold bright frosty morning.

I always walk to the wash view point first from the car park the only thing of note seen was a Curlew as it took off from near the boats close to Lil’s hut.

Scanning the new saltmarsh gave up small skeins of Brent Geese heading inland. I then crossed the car park again to head off to do my usual loop of the reserve. Onto South Marsh Road and looking into the creek near the car park a Little Egret was close by looking for its breakfast.

A Snipe took to the air from the old saltmarsh near Bean’s Hide, walking straight towards the sea I scanned from the viewpoint to see good number of Cormorant out at sea.

I walked towards greenshank Creek and soon got onto a very small group of mixed waders, Sanderling, Turnstone, Redshank, Oystercatcher and Grey Plover, the last 2 species were a long way off further along the creek. A couple of small groups of Shelduck flew overhead heading in the direction of the new saltmarsh from the east dunes.

I managed to get reasonably close to a small group of waders for images, Redshank, Turnstone and Sanderling all seemingly happy to feed whist I watched them.

I am always conscious of tides when in this area and soon headed back over Mill hill to have a little time in a hide or two. bird wise it was very quiet all over; a lovely male Bullfinch flew overhead while near prince’s pond to cheer things up. Borrow pits had a few common gulls and a couple of Mute Swan from what I could see. A little time in the Mere hide gave views of usual duck species, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal and with time at a premium and nothing happening here I made my way to the Tennyson’s sands hides, here I saw a lone Black Tailed Godwit and Canada & Brent Geese in decent numbers along with more Teal and Wigeon.

When at the Harvey hide a group of circa 40 Brent Geese dropped in briefly and after scanning them I was happy to see a Pale Bellied bird before they flew off towards the wash viewpoint area of the reserve.

Managed to catch a couple of flight shots but lost the Pale Bellied bird sadly.

On the way back to the car park I called into the plantation to see if any Bramblings were about at the feeding station, sadly no only commons were seen feeding.

Is the above Blackbird a continental bird?

Back at the van a quick scan of Birdguides app on my phone lead me to make Theddlethorpe Dunes my next port of call hopefully for Twite and possible lifer Shorelark. At the car park had a chat with fellow birder / photographer Kevin who gave me pointers on the 7 Shorelark he had just sometime with. I made my way onto the beach and saw another couple of distant birders and a lone photographer that were on a group 30 to 40 lively and mobile Twite. I had never seen so many Twite before so this was great, now for the Shorelark.

I walked the beach with Mark the bird photographer searching for the Shorelark but these too were mobile, mainly due to dogs putting the birds up and away from the birders watching them. We persevered and finally we got onto 7 Shorelark, great stuff a lifer for me so worth to visit to Theddlethorpe.

A distant group of mainly Redshanks I think, I did initially think some were Ruff; were seen in the distance too, in the image below there is a smaller bird too (second from left), possibly a Ringed Plover?

I managed some images albeit distant ones, still pleasing to see that lemon yellow Shorelark face lighting up the beach, although they did their best to hide.

As the light faded and with the birds still staying their distant; off I went to basecamp 2 in Caistor in preparation for a few hours at a new site for me Covenham reservoir and another possibly lifer.

Final part of the 3 day Lincolnshire tour blog to follow soon.

Same words but some different images can be seen here >> http://www.stevenesbitt.co.uk/blog/2017/12/3-day-lincs-tour-day