Following the skua debacle from yesterday, I decided to get in to the reserve early this morning. Partly to look for the skua but also to beat the crowds.
Unsurprisingly the carpark was empty at 5 so I had the reserve to myself. Stopped off in Island Hide to shelter from a shower and had a nice colour ringed blackwit which was close enough to read, a surprise juv water rail feeding along the reed edge and a juv med gull.
Counted the waders ftom the main path and headed to the beach. Managed to get half drowned by another shower before looking at the sea. Loads of terns moving but only a single fulmar of note.
Headed back to Parrinder Hide to look through the waders. Wader levels are peachy at the moment and decent numbers are already on the move. Dunlin numbers are building nicely with the odd curlew sand and little stint in recent days. Blackwit and avocets have been touching 300 each most days and there are loads of ruff about now.
The undoubted stars of the place at the moment are the incredibly showy wood sands. This morning, one of them was feeding within 5m of Parrinder Hide. Much of the time it was too close to phobescope but I did manage a couple of shots.
A walk around Choseley produced a good number of yellowhammer and skylark singing, a family of grey partridge and a couple of marsh harrier. Lots of butterflies and 6-spot burnet moths about too