The river offered little on a fast rising tide apart from the usual Cormorants, Mallards and Moorhens. I fared little better with the Sunken Marsh which produced a lonely Reed Warbler, a fly over Stock Dove, a singing Chiffchaff and a couple of Cetti's Warblers as vocal as ever.
As I approached the mound a volley of warning calls alerted me to a low flying Sparrowhawk which left empty handed. Next up was a Kingfisher which announced it's arrival from Abbey Mead lake with it's usual high pitched piping and departed quickly over the mound to Brooklands lake next door.
The East Scrub gave me a Song Thrush, Long tailed and Great Tits and a couple of House Martins and a few Goldfinches. Thankfully I found a couple of Gadwall on Johnsons lake which went some way to brighten up a rather dull couple of hours.
It was at about this time that I started to think about the White Rumped Sandpiper that has been residing at Oare Marshes for a few days. I don't very often twitch individual birds but if I can combine it with a decent walk and a chance of some other interest and in this case the possibility of a Spoonbill or two, i'm happy to give it a go. Which is why I found myself taking a short cut down the Millstream and back to the car park.......................................
I'm not too hot when it comes to IDing waders, don't get to see very many at New Hythe. So trying to find a single Sandpiper was like looking for a needle in a haystack, as the two pictures above taken on the East flood illustrate.
But find it I eventually did. With a little help from a couple of friendly birders I managed to see it on the ground and also briefly in the air and so saw it's claim to fame, the white rump.
Other waders seen included; Avocet, Lapwing, Dunlin, Black and Bar tailed Godwits, Redshank, Ruff, Golden Plover and Little Stint. A couple of Curlew Sandpipers were also present but I couldn't pinpoint them.
I was pleased to see a Bearded Tit flying across the top of a reed bed and also a couple of Yellow Wagtails which were accompanying the cattle in front of the hide. No sign of the Spoonbills unfortunately but Little Egret and Grey Heron softened the blow. The only raptors seen were a Hobby and two Kestrels, disappointing but you can't win them all.
Surprise sighting of the day however was a superb Clouded Yellow butterfly, my first this year. I didn't manage to get a picture, they were hard to get today. The few that I did manage are shown below.