Incubation and fledging for wood sandpiper totals c50 days, so it is not really a great surprise that 70 days after my last record from Technopole, in late April, the first birds are back, along with the first ruff of autumn; these two males retaining a few head feather of their eccentric breeding plumage. These are two of the most abundant wintering waders in West Africa, with around a million individuals leaving European and western Russian breeding grounds in our direction.
A rarer sighting, though I suspect a pair or two is resident and breeds here, was a typically half hidden male painted snipe, eluding the camera.
The black-tailed godwits were closer than at the weekend, having moved near to the road towards the golf course. Here is a breeding plumage adult.
Here a mix of breeding plumage and duller, presumably 2012 birds are lined up with the now obligatory image of one of the semi-resident Franklin’s gulls.