Pectoral Sandpiper at Manor Farm

Most probably as a result of the remnants of the Hurricane Bertha, hit southwest England early Sunday, a local mega turned up close to my home. Rob Hill, the local expert of Manor Farm spotted a Pectoral Sandpiper on the west end of the quarry.

As weather improved slightly, we left for some birdwatching, targeting to find the reported male Whinchat. A few minutes after our departure, I got the news about the Pectoral Sandpiper. Sharp turn and I was on my way to Old Wolverton, hoping that Rob Hill, the finder, was still there.

Manor Farm quarry in late afternoon. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Manor Farm quarry in late afternoon. © Gyorgy Szimuly

He was there and another birder was coming next to me. I’ve never met any of these local birders before, so it was nice to see some of them. Rob was very kind and let me watch the bird through his spotting scope. One of the guys thought it was an adult bird, but I thought it was a fresh juvenile. The bold rufous-creamy edges on the scapulars and the whitish line on the sides of mantle made it a juvenile bird.

The last Common Swifts soared against these beautiful clouds. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The last Common Swifts soared against these beautiful clouds. © Gyorgy Szimuly

I didn’t walk on the route as I used to, but enjoyed the beautiful sunset with dramatic clouds on the sky. Among the regular shorebirds, Northern Lapwings, a Ruff, a Dunlin, Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpipers, Little Ringed and Common Ringed Plovers were present, but the Pectoral Sandpiper was feeding alone and separated from other birds.

Just before light started to decrease, Rick and Elis Simpson arrived to see this rarity. It’s always nice to see the Wader Quest couple, especially in the field.

It was my first Pectoral Sandpiper seen in the United Kingdom, but unfortunately no image is available to illustrate.

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