3 July 2019

[ Wirral ]

A briefer than usual visit to RSPB Burton Mere.

A volunteer at the main entrance hide informed me there was a green sandpiper ‘showing intermittently’ on one of the nearby islands. I had a good look, but saw no sign of it. But, as I admitted to another visitor, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t recognise a green sandpiper, even if it bit me. He laughed, being, it turned out, in exactly the same predicament.

I made a quick detour to see if the bee orchids I’d seen the other week were still there, but they had all gone to seed—which, despite my disappointment, was excellent news. Heading back from my detour, I tried to photograph hoverflies hovering in the dappled light beneath a trackside tree. The results might have been more successful had I brought my macro lens.

Hoverfly

Avocets, black-headed gulls, hundreds of godwits. Little egret fledglings were fighting boisterously in the tree-tops near the Marsh Covert hide. From the hide itself, I saw seven spotted redshank, all standing on one leg with their backs to me. Not that I recognised them as spotted redshank, you understand: I overheard some expert birders taking about them.

I took a further detour round the mere on the way back to the car. No bird action to speak of, even though the mere was packed full of tiny dark fish, and less tiny striped ones. I haven’t a clue what they were, my fish-identification skills being on a par with my wader-identification skills.

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Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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