We wandered wearily along the track by the pit approaching the site of the old house on the corner when Brian remarked, "What's that bird just beyond the cormorants drying their wings?" I could see the bird through binoculars but no real details so it was time to get out the new 'scope. As soon as I lined up on the bird the long yellow legs leapt out at me, making it out as something special, but what I wasn't sure. Returning to the car it was closer to us and the view through the 'scope was stunning. Long yellow legs, pale grey/brown back and head, extending down into a shield shape on the breast and a pinky/buffish belly and dark bill. It was a stunning bird, which after some checking out turned out to be a while-tailed lapwing, most likely the one that had been at Blacktoft Sands for some weeks. As this was a first for Lincolnshire, it created not a little excitement among the Lincolnshire birding community. Fame at last!! This bird breeds in central Asia, west to Iraq and winters in East Africa and India. It is a very rare vagrant to Western Europe.
Brian and I had arrived about 10.30 am, the aim, apart from some birding, was to try out my new 'scope. In short it performed exceptionally well for an entry level model and I am delighted with it. It certainly enabled some superb close-up views and IDs of birds that we might not have made. After thoroughly checking out the pit we followed our usual route along the Humber bank as far as East Halton Skitter. The highlights, before finding the lapwing, were a flock of 50+ avocet and one of 64 black-tailed godwit up at the Skitter. We had hoped for marsh harrier and short-eared owl but were out of luck. Although it was a mild day a flask of tomato soup hit the spot before heading back for our assignation with the white-tailed lapwing.
Our species list numbered 32; an excellent day.
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