Went for a drive around the Withins this afternoon, ostensibly to see if Ian H's Osprey from yesterday was still around, and quite wonderfully bumped into this single Dotterel on a ploughed field behind Great Altcar, just after 4.30pm.
Lovely scope views of her as she trundled about the sandy ploughed field, preened and sometimes just went to sleep, or out of sight behind a wee ridge.
Completely failed to get an in focus shot - she was a good 200 metres away and the breeze was shaking my scope (excuses, excuses), but I spent an hour ogling this little beauty, as Lapwings and Oystercatchers zipped about.
Actually if you squint really hard from about a foot away from the computer screen, these pictures don't look too bad.
I did consider wandering into the field but as I hate photographers (and birders for that matter) who don't put the bird first I dismissed the idea and enjoyed the Dotterel from the track.
A female, but not quite in full adult plumage I think. Lovely rich rufous underparts, black belly, blue grey neck and stonking big eyestripe.
What a bird.
This is the field it was in, down Engine Lane and on past the private lane to the water works.
GPS reference: N53*32.590, W003*01.241
(a word of caution here, as I am notoriously crap with technology, I may be reading my GPS gizmo wrong - these could be the correct co-ordinates, but they could just as easily be the site of a wadi in the Negev Desert)
Anyway, go down Engine Lane (right hand turn in Great Altcar) and drive out onto the moss until you find some sandy ploughed fields directly south of Great Altcar on your left - it may be there still - I was watching it up till 5.45pm.
Whitethroats, Sedge Warbler, Swallows, Grey and Red Legged Partridge about too and a Buzzard soaring in the hot blue sky.
Good to see plenty of Brown Hares out in the fields, shame the Dotterel wasn't as big as I might have got a decent shot.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies....