Patrington Haven & Spurn

I had my first visit of the year to Patrington Haven at the weekend.

It really does look as though it would benefit from a good dredge of a foot or so of silt - the mud there now gets too dry to support any kind of mud-dwelling invertebrates that provide the fuel for the waders on their stopover as they head south.

It got off to a good start with a barn owl on the approach road and one or two reed warblers on the walk down. Then a juvenile wheater among the throng of meadow pipits on the rocks.

The lagoon itself was bereft of any bird life when I arrived and this time I wanted to try a different place than usual with the hope of something a bit more unusual.

Not long after taking up my position did the lagoon start to fill up with water and the waders started to fly in off the humber.

First it was ringed plovers settling on the mud, closely followed by dunlin and redshank with the odd greenshank amongst them.

there was a steady train of gulls cutting across and landing out of view and the odd little egret disturbed by the rising tide.

With recent reports of the more unusual waders my hopes were high of finding something a bit different.

Sure enough there was a tiny bright wader amongst the dunlin and as the tide came further in it revealed itself to be a little stint, and I was very pleased as this was my best shots of a little stint from Patrington Haven.

The tide was fractionally over the optimum size and it wasnt long before the whole lagoon was flooded and the waders disappeared out of sight.

I quickly made my way back down the track stopping briefly to watch a couple of willow warblers and a painted lady.

I went on to Spurn and a quick look in canal scrape hide produced a nice wood sandpiper and the bonus of a very smart looking juvenile yellow-legged gull.

Then on to Kilnsea Wetlands and a couple more wood sandpipers and a little stint on the distant pool at Holderness fields.

I had a look from the wetlands hide and started photographing swallows taking a drink (with very limited success!) a fly-by whimbrel and distant black-tailed godwit was about the best of it.

All in all a lovely morning in my favourite part of God's own county.

 The tide slowly rising...

The tide slowly rising...

 Very quickly the lagoon is filled by the rising tide.

Very quickly the lagoon is filled by the rising tide.

 Eventually the water pushes the birds close enough for a photograph.

Eventually the water pushes the birds close enough for a photograph.

 Greenshank

Greenshank

 Little  stint and dunlin.

Little  stint and dunlin.

 Little stint

Little stint

  Little stint

Little stint

  Little stint

Little stint

  Little stint

Little stint

  Little stint

Little stint

 Wood sandpiper at Spurn

Wood sandpiper at Spurn

  Wood sandpiper at Spurn

Wood sandpiper at Spurn

  Wood sandpiper at Spurn

Wood sandpiper at Spurn

 Yellow-legged gull at Spurn

Yellow-legged gull at Spurn

  Yellow-legged gull at Spurn

Yellow-legged gull at Spurn

 Whimbrel at Spurn

Whimbrel at Spurn