Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Pagham Harbour (25/10/09)

I unpleasantly windy day at Pagham where I visited the east side with my mum and dad. Plenty of waders in the harbour and a fair number of Little Egrets. The highlight was a juvenile Spoonbill roosting with 6 Little Egrets and 3 Grey Herons. It was mostly asleep but did poke it's head out a couple of times - but not when my mum was looking!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

18th October (Farlington/Hayling Oyster Beds)

Today was the North-East Hants RSPB group trip to the above sites.

Not a bad day starting with a good high tide roost on the lake in which the best birds were 4 Greenshank.

At least 4 different Water Rails were around the margins of the reeds, however, the highlight were about 50 Bearded Tits showing extremely well and calling constantly in the reeds right in front of the main path. Basically appeared to be mainly adults with the odd juvenile.

Walking around the reserver in a counter-clockwise direction there was a roost of 25 Little Egrets in the harbour (although lots of other birds were seens further around the walk).

As we reached the point I heard a Dartford Warbler and then one of our group said, "There it is". Unlike most Dartford Warblers this one was sitting right at the top of a bush, preening. It stayed there for a a good time but because the group was all strung out not everyone saw it.

However, their luck was in as it was seen sitting at the top of another bush, this time much further away but at least everyone got to see it (I think!).

The rest of the walk consisted of standard fare for Farlington although I did try and string a Garganey!

There were at least 4 Clouded Yellows around the reserve, at least one of which, I managed to photograph.

We then drove around to Hayling Island for lunch and then had a walk around the oyster beds. Highlights included a male Blackcap, a very obliging Lesser Whitethroat and a group of Red-breasted Mergansers fishing in one of the ponds.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

13th October (update for 11th October)

Wow! Turns out that the Red-backed Shrike at Staines Moor is in fact a Brown Shrike (I was correct in my original thought that it was a 1st winter not a juvenile bird!)

I went back to have a better look today and the number of birders had grown considerably - about 200-300 present.

The bird was showing intermittently so I managed to see some of it's features and got some rather crap pictures.

I did note the long graduated tail and other features that the information on the web described.

I look forward to reading a more in depth identification paper - hopefully in Birding World.

Monday, 12 October 2009

11th October (Staines Moor)

Back to Staines for the second weekend running. This time the weather was bloody awful - very overcast with constant drizzle. A small group of birders were huddled around but not looking particularly hard.

I, therefore, had a walk around and eventually somebody spotted the bird disappearing into a nearby bush. While waiting for the bird to re-appear, 2 Rose-ringed Parakeets flew over calling.

I decided to look around the opposite side that everyone else was looking and while I was there another birder suddenly got onto the bird.

In awful visibility I managed some rear scope views of the juv/1w Red-backed Shrike. After making sure I had seen the bird I returned to where the other birders were and got much better views.

Noted, the horn bill with a dark tip, fairly striking bandit mask, reddish tail (1w not juv?), faint barring on underparts and buff edges to tertials.

On the way back to the car a flock of 6 and then a flock of 7 Rose-ringed Parakeets flew over.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Staines Reservoir (04/10/09)

A quick jaunt down to the reservoir and the juv. Red-necked Grebe was picked up distantly on the north basin. It was mostly asleep but did show occasionally - noted the residual striping on the head, yellowish bill and smoky neck.

Also 2 winter plumage Black-necked Grebes showing extremely well next to the causeway on the south basin.