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Blagdon Beauty

Long-tailed duck was the big draw although the long-billed dowitcher should have been, but that went missing three days ago. Still, the duck didn’t disappoint and a Bewick’s swan helped, both visible from the fishing lodge. A change of vantage point round at Green Lawn brought two or three yellow-legged gulls.

There’s the beauty of birding local patches – the new and the old together in one spot. To reinforce the latter, pintails and shovelers were also new in for the autumn (sounds like a fashion parade). So, my Somerset list clicks over to 168 (oddly, the dowitcher wouldn’t have added to it).

I skipped over to Herriotts to dip on the spotted sandpiper again but did track a green sandpiper in flight. A flock of… what? Initially I thought godwits but they would have to have been bar-tailed and those don’t occur at Chew. Also they were smaller than lapwings, which left me a tad puzzled. Redshanks? The bills weren’t right, surely. There was no telling: the distance was too great and the light too bad.

Then Rich Andrews posted on Twitter that 24 spotted redshanks had been seen. This made much more sense. What an extraordinary number for this time of year. Or any time really.

The beauty of local patches.

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