At this stage my enjoyable Sunday afternoon in the sunshine was turned upside down. Just after 5.00pm news came through that the adult SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER had returned to Alkborough Flats in Lincolnshire. A few minutes later MEGA ALERT wailed away to inform us that a SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER had been located at Patrington Haven in East Yorkshire. With a possibility of nailing two prime waders for the price of one I had to make a move but with daylight running out fast I had to move quickly. Steve was tempted (I could tell by his bulging blue eyes) but I couldn't convince him to join me on my mad dash up north.
Whilst driving up the A38 I listened to the United match on 5 Live. They were 2-1 up and even better, both top notch shorebirds were still present. Life was good! Soon afterwards my luck began to change. Firstly that greasy-haired Cameo lookalike Nani missed a penalty for United, then during injury time the jammy Cottagers equalised. Fulham 2 United 2 - two precious points dropped!
After a quick stop off at Potteric Carr to pick up a couple of budding RSPB twitchettes (and a stray dog) I sped over to Alkborough as the sun was sinking in the western skies. Upon arrival I received a text from Mike 'Mikipedia' Feely to say that him and Stevie Dunn had connected with the SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER just before it had flown off. B*STARDS! At least I could console myself with excellent views of only my second British SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER.... wrong! Despite grilling the flats as well as various channels and pools until dusk we failed to relocate the pesky peep! It was the straw that broke the camel's back, I vowed there and then to throw in the towel..... year-listing was for complete losers anyway!
Taking the positives out of the heart-break, a stunning Lincolnshire sunset was enjoyed as was an impressive nature reserve that I'd never visited before. On the bird front there were 4 Little Egrets, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 19 Ruff, 3 Common Redshank, a Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper present around the Flats.