Saturday 23 April 2011

Tetney.... Let Dotterel Flood out!

With not a great deal about today I decided to take a quick 'trip' over to Lincolnshire to see a group of Dotterel at Tetney Lock. This is pretty early for this species to appear on their migration from North Africa and the Middle East to their breeding grounds on the Arctic tundra of Europe or perhaps on the mountain plateaus of the Scottish Highlands. On my journey east a report came through that an immature White-tailed Eagle had flown over the birds. I hoped that it did not cause my target birds to scatter. As I arrived on site the song of Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat could be heard along Newton Marsh Lane. After a short stroll along the raised bank of the canal the birds came into view. With just a few sensible admirers watching the birds all six Dotterel were showing well just a few metres away, unconcerned of the attention they were receiving.

A trio Dotterel at Tetney Lock, Lincolnshire.

Despite the superb views us birders always seem to have something to whinge about and today was no exception. Due to the strong Spring sunshine the terrible heat haze hampered me getting any decent shots of the birds. The one above is the best I managed out of a disappointing collection of digiscoped efforts.

The semi-desert conditions of small parts of rural Lincolnshire is ideal for migrating Dotterel as it replicates the habitat on their wintering grounds.

Other species on site were few and far between but I did manage to see a couple of Northern Wheatear and a fly-over Yellow Wagtail. I then headed the short distance to Horseshoe Point on the off chance that the young White-tailed Eagle might appear. No such luck though. Once again bird species were limited with just a female Marsh Harrier and a few Little Egret to keep me occupied at this desolate location.

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