Superb views of a delicate first-year winter Iceland Gull were had – in contrast to almost all of my gull experiences in Britain, the bird was attractive, close, well-lit, and the only gull in the field. Rarely do these things happen. Between this time and 14:00, an unsuccessful attempt was made to find the stilt sandpiper at Coward’s Marsh, Dorset.
14:00: Lychett Bay, Poole, Dorset (50.726245, -2.042803)
A thorough scan of Lychett Fields RSPB failed to produce water pipits but the site looked excellent for breeding waders later in the year. Three spoonbills were noted roosting in the central estuary at the GPS point.
15:30-16:45: Stanpit Marsh, Dorset (50.725526, -1.759393)
Hot on the heels of the long-legged wanderer, I arrived with the time odds against me at Stanpit Marsh. A good ‘bubble’ of birds included small flocks of brent geese, redshank and curlew, little egrets, large aggregations of roosting gulls and to my mild surprise, a sandwich tern. With almost no time left, I found the elegant stilt sandpiper roosting on the marsh shore beside four pintail, providing excellent views of its attenuated features.