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LEIGHTON MOSS'S ALLEN POOL WAS FULL OF SHOREBIRDS this afternoon. Joined by Mark Varley I had some great close views of juveniles of some of the c.20 Curlew Sandpipers, ruffs and Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits. Also here were four Little Stints, two Spotted Redshanks, a few lapwings, one oystercatcher and a lot of Common Redshanks. The influx of Curlew Sandpipers has been one of the events of the autumn so far and this number at Leighton is quite exceptional. Around 10 Little Egrets was barely noticed, as usual, how times have changed! This was the first time I have been in the new hides. They are the same style as the new Griesdale hide, like large greenhouses with loads of glass that doesn't conceal the occupants. I noticed this caused the shorebirds to flush a couple of times, when folks rushed to the windows or made sudden noisy movements. The window frames prevent easy viewing when standing up as well and the seats are too low so in a nutshell they were disappointing. I often wonder how much (or little) thought goes into the design of hides on bird reserves but the RSPB's move to become 'nature's home' also tells me that they are no longer interested in birders, which is a shame.