Burton Mere Wetlands: A Childhood Dream

Whilst on a stroll around Birkenhead I got word that a Buff-bellied Sandpiper had been discovered just down the road at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands by the sites manager Colin Wells; The fact that this bird represents only the 1st twichable BBS on the Wirral since 1973 in itself meant that this would be a must see bird and it just so happened that I was on the same road as the Bus stop which takes you to the reserve when news broke out, the twitch was on!

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Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis) – The last record for Wirral & Cheshire on Tanker no.6 at Frodsham Marsh 28/07/12 (Image Paul Crawley)
sPOONBILL at BMW roosting_edited-1
Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) – RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire
Distant BBSP
Buff-breasted Sandpiper with Common Snipe & Black-tailed Godwit – RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire

Shortly after arriving at the reserve the Buff-breasted Sandpiper was soon connected with at the Marsh Covert Hide along with a single Eurasian Spoonbill in trees amongst the Little Egret colony just east of the Hide. At first the Sandpiper was relatively distance and showed on and off every five or so minutes as it was lost to over growth along with a loose flock of Dunlin (A great comparison species to see the size of the BBS), Common Snipe, Common Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Ruff (The species that can cause confusion with BBS).

BBS from MC BMW
Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis) – RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire
BBSP at BMW
Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis) – RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire
BBSP with LRP
Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis) in comparison to Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) – RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire

After spending several hours in the hide I came across several familiar faces that were great to catch up with as well as having up to 3 Great White Egrets (Including 1 courtship plumage bird), and a single Cattle Egret pass over heading to and from the Little Egret colony; Having waited over 4hrs the BBS soon came and landed on the front island just several meters away from the Marsh Covert Hide which is were the majority of todays record shots of the bird came from including a rather pleasant but defiantly unexpected shot next to a Little Ringed Plover.

So…not only a life tick but a Wirral & Cheshire tick along with being my 200th bird of 2017.

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