In between a couple of massive thunderstorms, I had a quick walk round Cossington Meadows last night. Not far from the entrance, a Green Woodpecker flew up out of the grass and disappeared towards the village, yaffling, but it was the waders I'd come for. As I mentioned last week, autumn migration has already begun, meaning that some of the birds that didn't manage to find a breeding partner this year, or in the case of some species who bred early, are moving through on their way south.
So, there were five Green Sandpipers picking their way around the margins of the Upper Marsh, and a single Greenshank standing rather aloof from them, preening. After watching for 15 minutes or so, I had to leave to go to a cricket league meeting (oh the excitement), at which point it suddenly sparked into life and started behaving in typical Greenshank fashion, dashing through the shallow water and feeding enthusiastically.
Despite not being very strongly marked, they're beautiful, elegant birds, with the subtly upswept bill particularly distinctive (along with the green legs, of course).
There were good numbers of Common Terns around, too, which suggests they must have done well this year. I even saw one, fishing Kingfisher-style from a post, at Kelham Bridge last week, the first I can remember there for a long time.