Yesterday afternoon at around 1545 hours, BirdGuides took a text informing them of a PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Startop's End Reservoir. Not having heard from Dave, Steve or Ian, I contacted them all immediately but nobody had heard anything, and Steve had actually checked Startop's for the third time at about 1300! I managed to get hold of Mike Campbell and he agreed to go down but Steve just pipped him - confirming the bird's continued presence at about 4pm.
I arrived some 15 minutes later to find the bird - an adult - showing well on the expanse of mud in the SW corner, seemingly 'sheltering' in the company of the roosting Common Terns and Black-headed Gulls. Being a rare vagrant in our region, the bird consequently attracted a fair bit of attention, with around 35 people arriving during the next couple of hours, including JT, Jeff Bailey, Francis Buckle, Sally Douglas, Barry Reed and others from farther afield. Ian Williams, having been birding at Welney WWT in Norfolk, arrived later in the evening and actually watched the bird depart just after 2030 hours.
It represents just the 8th record for the Tring Reservoirs Recording Area, the 1969 individual being my first-ever in the UK -:
1) Marsworth Reservoir, 14th September 1949;
2) Wilstone Reservoir from 19th October to 13th December 1969;
3) Tringford & Wilstone Reservoir from 3rd September to 7th October 1973;
4) Tring Sewage Farm on 11th October 1986;
5) Wilstone Reservoir on 29th-30th October 1988;
6) Startop's End Reservoir from 9th-19th September 1989, moving to Wilstone on 21st;
7) Wilstone Reservoir from 7th-11th September 2011.
Here is a selection of my best images from yesterday afternoon -: