An all day effort at Alkborough finally paid off with me catching up with the Semi-palmated Sandpiper,albeit a bit distant,but you could still make out the birds salient features and different feeding action when compared to it's commoner congeners.This is the second record for the County the last being as long ago as 1966 at Wisbech sewage farm.It was first found on Wednesday evening by Neil Drinkall and is the same bird as what was seen at Blacktoft Sands on the 8th August and could also be the bird seen at Port Carlisle in Cumbria.Other birds seen during the visit here included 2 Hobby,2 immature Peregrine's,Wood Sandpiper,Merlin,2 juv. Whinchat and 6 Ruddy Shelduck.There was also a Fulvous-whistling Duck feeding with the local Mallard flock.
While watching the Semi-p i had a timely phone call from Neil saying a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper had been found just over the river at Patrington Haven and asked if i wanted to go and of course i said yes,well who wouldn't!,so we made the journey to this site,a bit nervous,as would be expected when hoping to see a bird of this rarity and we finally arrived and dashed to the birds chosen roosting area.On arrival it was difficult to pick out as it was hidden behind several Knot and Dunlin,but then the waders all flew up and landed again and to our relief it was still there and in the open now giving decent views and a hell of a lot closer than the Semi-p.We then watched it for about 20 minutes more as it preened and walked about so we could note down it's id. features,such as the gingery crown and pale legs,what a cracking bird!!.It then flew off onto the estuary with a flock of Dunlin.The only other birds of note observed here,where a moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper and a single Green Sandpiper.So what a day,in the end i managed 21 species of wader through the day and 7 species of raptor at Alkborough,2 lifers and the second being totally unexpected,but that's the joy of the hobby,you just don't know what to expect next.