|Ruff - In Almost Summer Plumage|
We took a very turbulent walk along the sea-bank, sliding down the bank occasionally to escape the constant strong breeze, then hunkering down and scanning across the salt marsh. Here we had Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Little Egret, Redshank, Dunlin, Great Black-backed Gull and a single Whimbrel. Out towards the wash huge flocks of Waders, too distant for ID but likely Knot, where constantly on the move. More Yellow Wagtails, Ringed Plover, Teal and a single White Wagtail before stopping for lunch in the East Hide.
East Hide for lunch was our first chance to take shelter and have a good look at the pools and almost immediately a ♂Garganey was spotted, offering some excellent views before flying off west. Quite a surprise was the amount of Wigeon still around and as you would imagine Shelduck were in good numbers. The first of only two Sand Martin for the day was also seen along with more Yellow Wagtail.
Our next stop was Reed Bed Hide and here among the many Black-backed Gulls were two very pristine looking Mediterranean Gulls. Unlike Brandon Marsh, which already has good numbers in situ, the Sand Martin structure viewed from this hide was completely barren, with not one to be found. A thirty minute stop also had ♂Pochard, Gadwall, Little Grebe and Great-crested Grebe.
Finally, a visit to the 360 Hide, which as the name suggests offers some excellent views of the surrounding wetland. Here the first (3) Common Terns of the day, more Yellow Wagtail and at least (3) White Wagtail. Plus excellent views of the many Avocet, which as mentioned earlier are a real accolade for the reserve.