Greater Yellowlegs

Day after day of severe winds and heavy rain has limited activity to some extent, but news of a Greater Yellowlegs at Loch Fleet proved too tempting to resist. Being a self confessed wader nut meant I was up there at the first opportunity – even the tiling was put on hold!

Following on from the Greater Sand Plover this represented the second excellent wader in the Highlands this year. Fully aware Tringa type waders are a bit skittish at the best of times I wasn’t expecting too much. Immediately it was clear that this was not true to form and was very confiding.

The bird was favouring a small area of flood water and continued to feed and behave normally with a procession of dog walkers, interested locals and birders coming and going. I decided to set up in the pool itself – despite being ill prepared for lying in frozen water – and wait for the wader to approach me. After about two hours I had one of the most memorable shoots of the year as this graceful North American wader approached to within three of four feet and promptly fell asleep!

In all I watched the Greater Yellowlegs at a a range of 10 – 20 feet for about three hours at which point I was just too cold to lie in the mud and cow pats any longer!

A fine finish to the year.

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