Birding royalty - a very obliging flock of Dotterel

At Rishton Reservoir this morning there was nothing out of the ordinary - the three Grebe nests were still intact if not a bit buffeted by the gusty easterly wind and the two drake Tufted Ducks were still hanging around. Over 70 Sand Martins were wheeling around in the breeze but there are still no House Martins. Yesterday I had my first ever Water Vole on the site.

A flock of 74 Carrion Crows had assembled in the field next to the small res where a dead sheep pointed its legs skywards. This however wasn't the reason the gang of crows was in the field as there have been quite a number there for the past week or so - don't think the Lapwings and Curlews will have much chance!

As I headed back, the news of a flock of Dotterel on Champion Moor found by a TTV'ing Tony Cooper (well done Tony!) sprang up on my phone - the perfect distraction from the wedding. Bernie and I headed out only to be told that they'd flown so we limited our trip to the local garden centre to get the bedding plants we were planning to get in the afternoon. Blackcaps and a Garden Warbler were singing in the woods nearby.

I have to admit we headed home and sat to watch the wedding at this point. All credibility shot, the news that the Dotterel had been re-found by arch-Dotterel finder John Metcalf brought us back to our senses, so we left their Royal Hignesses and headed north.

I recognise that photographer!
Thirty minutes later and a quick jaunt up the hill, we found the Breaks' family enjoying splendid views of seven Dotterel. I grabbed the camera and slowly made my way towards the birds on my belly (my neck and shoulders are paying the price now!). I got to a spot fairly close and then after a while they started to feed actively coming ever closer. Lovely birds - the females resplendent in their richly coloured plumage.


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