Adwick Washlands – 13 Sep 2016

On what turned-out to be the hottest day of the year (yes, in mid-September!) I paid a short visit to Adwick Washlands today

I subscribe to Birdguides which is an online service for alerting birders to rare bird-sightings nationwide. I check the app on my phone periodically to see what’s been reported both locally and further afield.

One of my current ‘bogey birds’ is the Wood Sandpiper; I’ve never even seen one and given that waders are amongst my favourite birds, I’m very keen to photograph one. A Wood Sandpiper had been reported via Birguides at Old Moor early this morning, with another sighting (of probably the same bird) at Adwick (some 2-3 miles away) this lunchtime, so I decided to go to try to see it at Adwick.


A Little Egret fishing for lunch

It was very hot when I arrived at Lowfield Road in Bolton Upon Dearne (some 30°c according to my car’s thermometer), and so I decided I wouldn’t walk any further than I needed to. As I walked down the track which runs through the reserve I scoured the first lagoon eagerly. Last year I got some great close-ups of a Pectoral Sandpiper here, and have seen lots of other good birds here on previous visits.

Unfortunately, today there was nothing here other than a few very distant Mallards, so I decided to carry-on walking down to the second lagoon. Enroute, I heard lots of small birds in the trees and saw a glorious Goldfinch which had completed its moult and was now looking resplendent with its multi-coloured plumage all looking fresh and pristine.

As I approached the second lagoon I could see there were lots of birds present. It turned-out to be mostly Lesser Black Backed Gulls with a few Black Headed Gulls mixed-in with them. I did also see a couple of Cormorants sunning themselves and a large group of Lapwings standing, snoozing in the shallows. The only really good sighting I got here was of a Little Egret hunting near the edge of the water at my side of the lagoon. Sadly, once again there were no exciting waders present.

That left me with one more location to try; up by  the Central Viewing Point. Again, I’ve had good sightings up here in the past, but there was nothing much present here today either; perhaps it was just too hot for the birds! There was one very distant Green Sandpiper visible from the Central Viewing Point, but that was about it!

I made my way back to the car feeling very hot and in need of a cold drink.

Imagine my annoyance when I checked the Birdguides app on my phone back home and discovered that the Wood Sandpiper had returned to Old Moor around about the time I had arrived at Adwick! Grrr!!

About Alan Gordon

I am a retired teacher and former RAF Musician. I live near Sheffield and enjoy taking photographs of wild birds throughout the UK.
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