Saturday 23 September 2017

A Double Stint.

It was a very busy day yesterday with me wanting to see and hopefully photograph some Little Stints that were visiting Arlington Reservoir as they migrated South, as well as visiting another area for Small Coppers. 
I started at the Reservoir where the Little Stints were not in the area I had been expecting them. Matt had already text me to say they had been reported so I started the walk along the dam wall, seeing both Common Sandpiper and Yellow Wagtail in the process. With no other birders around I had suspected that perhaps the Stints had flown, but I didn't have to go too far before I saw the movement of some tiny waders and checking through the binoculars confirmed they were indeed still there. I then spent an hour or so in their company, along with David who had joined me just as I had spotted them. After a bit of feeding they split up with 2 staying together and the 3rd resting 200 yards away. The other 2 also went into sleep mode for a while before a bit of preening, followed by further feeding. The edge of the reservoir was scattered with debris, mainly old feathers, and the water was covered with algae which gave it a strange colour. However, the birds were delightful as they skipped along the waters edge.

Little Stint.

Little Stint feeding.

Relaxed and snoozing.

One of the Little Stint stretching following preening.

Following a quick break at home for lunch I then walked to a local area where I had seen several fresh Small Coppers the day before. Once again, the plan was to try to find one or two as they were preparing to go to roost. By now it was beginning to feel a pretty long day, so it was a relief to find some nice fresh Small Coppers, although as it was still warm the butterflies were pretty active. As the afternoon moved on I spotted a really nice individual that was beginning to slow down in the late afternoon and it soon performed nicely as it soaked up the weakening rays of the sun. 

Small Copper.

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