Late September 2017 – Waders!

It’s been a great end to September, wildfowl numbers increasing with Teal and Wigeon starting to arrive from their breeding grounds. Shoveler and Pintail are far fewer but starting to lose their drab eclipse plumage. The big draw however, has been the passage waders. Elegant Greenshank nimbly picking their way through the shallows, two Little Stints dashing around mainly viewable from Hales View, up to 20+ Ruff have been enjoying poking around on the newly cut grass, and the odd Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Knot and Common Sandpiper have been spotted as well. Black-tailed Godwits are stopping off on their way to the coast but will probably be here at Pulborough on and off all winter. The stars have been two Pectoral Sandpipers, they are the most frequently encountered American wader with about 10 to 100 reported each year but rarely are two seen together. They could be identified by their rather elegant elongated shape as compared to the dumpier dunlin and the small headed and larger ruff. Their yellow/green legs could also be seen in the sunshine. Unfortunately, they now seem to have departed. One of my favourite waders has been showing well for once; local Snipe numbers have been boosted by incomers and if you are patient they can be spotted feeding in the shallows. Adders, butterflies and dragonflies are still showing occasionally but probably not for much longer.