Spanish señor / señorita sighted

On Sunday I had been busy all day before having a free hand whilst Jane was at the theatre. I knew Skippool had been covered, and I quite fancied seeing one of more of the Spoonbills on the Ribble estuary. The Spoonbills have only been seen from Freckleton Naze and Lytham Quays, so with flawless logic I went to Lytham Jetty.

The sense of the jaunt was even more questionable as the wind was far stronger than I had anticipated, and the estuary is wide open at the jetty so it was sweeping in from the south west. I couldn’t really see what any of the birds towards Lytham Quays were, but there were decent numbers of Dunlin closer and getting even closer so I started to work through them.

I was stopped in my tracks by a bird which had one leg replaced with a rainbow. Many colour ringed waders have codes on the rings, but there were so many rings on this one that I knew that wouldn’t be the case and I just needed a half decent picture.

After ten minutes or so holding my phone to the scope lens in buffeting winds the upshot was that the first shot I took was the best I got. The bird left with part of the group, and I worked through the remaining birds looking for other species. There were ten Sanderling among the throng, and another colour ringed Dunlin but I only saw it briefly. From discussion with Ian Walker I think this is one he had earlier in the day so hopefully it will have been clinched.

Richard de Feu kindly gave me details of the Spanish ringers who had marked the Dunlin. I was sceptical about whether the picture was good enough to clinch it to a particular individual, but Antonio from the ringing group confirmed it was and the details are below. Sometimes it doesn’t go to plan but you can still salvage something.

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