A Least Sandpiper - photo credit: Tim White Photography

More than 200 birder watchers flock to Seaton Wetlands in one day

More than 200 bird watchers flocked to East Devon District Council's Seaton Wetlands nature reserve to see a rare vagrant bird, a Least Sandpiper, on Wednesday August 3.

The Least Sandpiper was first spotted on Black Hole Marsh on Tuesday evening (August 2). After its sighting was announced by a local bird watcher, the council-managed reserve was visited by bird enthusiasts from far and wide.

Visitors included regular local bird watchers as well as visitors from further afield including Essex, Hereford and Norfolk.

The Least Sandpiper, which has inadvertently travelled from North America, has only been recorded five times before in Devon and, on average, only a single bird each year has been seen in the UK, which makes this a very exciting viewing.

Councillor Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council's Portfolio holder for the Environment, said:

While rarities are a brilliant way of putting the reserve on the map for die-hard birders, this famous little bird will also help to raise the profile of this brilliant site with people throughout the district. There’s nothing we love to see more here at Seaton Wetlands than people popping into the hide with no binoculars, who are simply interested in what’s about.

James Chubb, Site Manager at Seaton Wetlands said:

This was the first twitch for me on Seaton Wetlands, since taking on the role of site manager three weeks ago and what a total thrill to have this superb bird turn up.

Seaton Wetlands is open all year round and is free to access. The Wetlands has a number of bird hides - on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays the Discovery Hut is manned by volunteers who serve teas, coffees and biscuits as well as hiring out pond dipping equipment, so it's a great place to spend an afternoon with the family during the summer holidays.

More information about the Countryside team and East Devon's Countryside sites can be found on the Countryside pages.