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WWT Llanelli

Passage waders on scrapes off the British Steel Hide are the name of the game here. On Saturday a few hundred redshanks also held a number of black-tailed godwits, several greenshanks and one spotted redshank.

I was lucky (or persistent) enough to pick that out as it largely slept and was in almost complete winter plumage. Its flight feathers though did show some spangling in contrast to the common redshanks. Of course when its head did go up, the finer, slightly decurved bill was a final clincher.

Swallows and house martins added to the autumn migration feel, as did whistling chiffchaffs – heard but not seen. A flock of wigeon was in, probably fresh from their boreal breeding marshes and pools. If fresh could describe a bird that’s just been scrabbling to bring up chicks, then flown a thousand miles.

Reported on BirdGuides and a stray from southerly climes, a spoonbill also spent the entire time asleep. Even so it was distinctive enough from half a dozen little egrets round about to be unmistakable.

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