Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Gosport (11/09/10)

A dark and gloomy day but I got wind of a rare shrike at Gosport. I filled in the coordinates in my TomTom and was off. I eventually reached the destination coordinates but couldn't see the expected water. I drove around the block a couple of times and then decided to get as near to the coordinates and get and walk.

I stopped the car and walked to a gap between some houses only to find that I had found the location and was parked in the perfect spot.

The Isabelline (Daurian) Shrike (158) was only barely showing when I arrived and I got glimpses to say that I had seen it.

I then walked around the other side of the bushes where the light was better and was eventually rewarded with good views of the shrike - it wasn't being very shrike like at all - disappearing for minutes on end in the depths of the bush!

Noted the following ID features: Generally pale and sandy with diffuse dark bandit mask, slight orange shade to throat, slight eye ring crescent above the eye, grey brown head, bill horn colour with black tip, fine scalloping on sandy breast, long brown tail with buff tip, darker tertials with buff edges, buffy rump/uppertail coverts.

After Gosport I went over to Farlington Marshes (where after a while it chucked it down with rain and I got soaked!).

This time there was nobody working on the main pond and I caught it just before high tide so the roost was quite impressive: 50+ Knot, Dunlin, Lapwing, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher, 8 Greenshank, Redshank, 3 Curlew Sandpiper (159), Black-tailed Godwit, c10 Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel and 2 Snipe.

Embarrassingly I just notice my year list doesn't have Meadow Pipit (160) but as were a lot here it does now :-). Also around the reserve were at least 20 Yellow Wagtails, 20+ Little Egrets, female Pintail, Common Sandpiper, 6 Wheatears and 3 Blackcaps.

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