Walk Report : 4th October 2020 Maiden Lane

 Brian was accompanied by cameraman Richard Smith on what would have been the first Sunday bird walk of the winter programme (08.30 - 10.45). The early start was because of the state of the tide (LW 06.18, HW 12.46) although there was not a big tidal range. On a squally, showery morning there was still plenty of interest around 8 Acre Pond and Normandy Lagoon.

There was an opportunity to see the various feeding strategies of different species:
Ringed Plover, a little scuttler with a short stubby bill and energetic pecking action, running along as if powered by clockwork and then standing still. 
Dunlin, a dumpy little bird feeding busily with a rapid "sewing machine" action using a longish bill, slightly decurved.
Oystercatcher using its powerful bill to probe for large marine worms and molluscs and to prise shellfish from rocks and seaweed.
Black-tailed Godwit, a long-legged, long-billed wader standing with its body well forward, bill probing almost at its toes, often in water up to its belly.
Turnstone, a stocky, short-legged, stubby-billed wader doing exactly what it says on the tin.
Greenshank, another long-legged, long-billed wader, probing and then running head-down after small fish

Little Egret, spending much of its time standing still, wading in shallows looking for prey and then dashing about in a frenzied fashion.
Redshank (long, thin and straight) and Curlew (long, decurved) probing with their different length bills, the latter also wading in to deep water.

Other sightings included 2 Kingfishers (at rest and in flight), a soggy and sullen Grey Heron, an imperious Great Black-backed Gull commanding one of the islands in Normandy Lagoon, Little Grebe, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Wren, Stonechat, and Starling. The explosive call of Cetti's Warbler.

Grey Plover

In the departure lounge: Swallow, Wheatear.
Arrivals: Wigeon coming from their Arctic nesting grounds, staying until March.
Throughout the walk conditions deteriorated for us spectacle wearers!