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Friday, 9 September 2011

Cantley magic

On this hot and sultry evening after working at Martham Library, I decided to pop into Cantley Sugar Beet Factory (a welcome return to a fabulous wader spot) after work. I had to walk from the village, but followed the path by the river snaking around the perimeter of the factory site, (seeing 2 Grey Wagtail near the factory pool area.
Several 6 Swallows seen around the edge of the factory and finally onto the sludge lagoons. As I walked I could see several dragonflies including 3 Emperors and 1 Brown Hawker. Almost immediately, I could see several really close Ruff, plus an intriguing brown-capped smaller wader with its back to me, slightly larger than a Dunlin with short decurved bill and looked like a small Ruff, which it proved to be the excellent Pectoral Sandpiper. The bird seemed fairly settled, and I crept a little closer without disturbing any of the birds, but later it flew along my side of the lagoon when disturbed by a bird photographer in the distance. The bird then showed a clear brown division between its breast and underparts. The Pectoral Sandpiper then flew off with all the other waders flew off completely when Rob Wils and his wife came alongside me.
The flock had consisted of 4 Curlew Sandpipers, around 8 Ruff, 2 Dunlin, 3 Greenshank, Green and Common Sandpiper and a Ringed Plover.
The flock would fly around but would eventually return to the same spot and I managed to get a few pictures of the Curlew Sandpipers although I didn't see the Pec again. later on the flock headed for the sunlite areas of the pool ie. the eastern most areas.
Walking back I must have seen around 40 Pied Wagtails flying around the river bank and an obliging Grey Heron twice posed on the rails in the fading light.

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