Rare visitor sparks flap at Seaton Wetlands

PUBLISHED: 06:59 18 August 2015

A rare  Baird’s Sandpiper landing  at Seaton Wetlands. Picture: SUE SMITH

A rare Baird's Sandpiper landing at Seaton Wetlands. Picture: SUE SMITH

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First local sighting of a Baird's sandpiper has birdwatchers flocking to the area

A rare visitor to Britain caused a flap at Seaton Wetlands on Saturday.

Birdwatchers flocked to the area after reports that a Baird’s sandpiper had taken an unexpected detour on its way south for the winter.

It was the first recorded sighting of this North American species at the Wetlands,
although every year, around this time, a few go off course 
and end up in this 
country.

The bird was spotted by local birder Phil Abbott, but unfortunately by the next day it had flown off.

Baird’s sandpipers breed in the high arctic of North America and Russia.

They are a long distance migrant, wintering in South America.

This species is a rare vagrant to western Europe. They nest on the ground, usually in dry locations with low vegetation.

The birds forage by moving about mudflats, picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects, also some small crustaceans.

This bird was named after Spencer Fullerton 
Baird, a 19th century 
naturalist.

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