At the end of a challenging Breeding Bird Survey visit to ST1576 (Victoria Park area – two sections of my transect are now gated and inaccessible) this morning, my very last bird was a Common Sandpiper – a major surprise and the only one I have ever seen in that square. The preparation works for the Wiggins Teape Ely Paper Mill site redevelopment have left a deep scrape about 225mx30m parallel to River Ely, which has filled with water.
I saw the bird fly across perhaps 100m from my end point (but in my square) and disappear behind some vegetation. I immediately thought it was CS, but slowly moved nearer till it reappeared on the muddy bank and I could see it well to confirm. By next year, this site will probably be housing, so I’ll probably will never see this bird on ST1576 again, unless by the Ely.
Aslo saw 1 sparrowhawk, 1 blackcap (gathering nesting material) and heard 1 chiffchaff. Other than that, the usual jackdaws, gulls, feral pigeons etc. Finches represented by only one goldfinch and one (heard) greenfinch, whereas there always used to be good numbers of each, plus chaffinches, wrens, dunnocks and robins, before their scrubby home was turned into a new school. Of course, the greenfinches have declined in general.