A Grey-tailed Tattler Heteroscelus brevipes frequented the Dyfi Estuary, Gwynedd/Dyfed (Ceredigion/Meirionnydd), from 13th October to 17th November 1981. It was seen by 35-40 people, of whom P. E. Davis, A. D. Fox and M. Stott submitted notes. The record was accepted as the first for Britain and Ireland, in Category A. Circumstances On 13th October 1981, I was walking away from the Saltings Hide at the Ynys-hir RSPB Nature Reserve on the Dyfi Estuary with two voluntary wardens when I noticed two Common Redshanks Tringa totanus and a smaller, greyer wader flying north along the River Dyfi. I watched the three birds until they went out of sight, my attention attracted by the unusual appearance of the grey individual. On this brief view, its uniform grey upperparts and white underparts did not suggest any species with which I was familiar. Thankfully, after a short period of time, I noticed the bird in question flying back towards us and landing in view some 250 m away. On the ground, the initial impression was of a bird showing the structural characters of a Redshank, but with plumage more reminiscent of a Red Knot Calidris canutus. After a few minutes, it flew again and this time landed on a small raised bank, bobbing in typical Tringa fashion. With mounting excitement, I attempted to obtain details through a telescope, but again the bird flew, landing this time some 200 m in front of the Saltings Hide, We returned to the hide and obtained further views.

Volume: 
Issue 6
Start Page: 
255
Display Image: 

Stay at the forefront of British birding by taking out a subscription to British Birds.

Subscribe Now