Sunday 21 November 2010

Lesser yellowlegs in Oxford

I went to see this American wader on 5 November before it disappeared. On the day I went the weather was rainy; just my luck! I didn't check the pager before I left home or I would have seen the 'no sign' message. Anyway, I got there and met another photographer coming back who said he'd been there for 3 hours but there was no sign of it. Oh, dear!!

I got to the water and scanned the far bank. There were loads of golden plover, mallards, black-headed gulls, etc. but no yellowlegs. I did come across a wader with very yellow legs and my heart jumped, but it was only a ruff!

The rain was driving into the end of my scope, obscuring my vision, so I walked upwind so I could look with the wind more behind me. Then, there it was on a small island in the middle of the flood. I moved nearer and it flew to a marshy area nearby. I gave it a wide berth and moved beyond it, waiting for it to come nearer to me. It was still raining but I knelt down on the wet grass to lower my profile.

I followed the bird for about 15 minutes but I didn't want my camera to get too wet. I headed back to the car.

Lesser yellowlegs

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