Friday, 21 April 2017

Gotcha Gropper

It was a lovely still and cloudy dawn this morning, which got me out the door nice and early again. A quick look around Black Hole and Seaton Marshes was disappointing, but Axe Cliff beckoned as the conditions were just too good.

It was however quiet for new migrants, unlike Portland today which seems to be having another good day. My hour walk revealed just three new migrant passerines in the bushes; a Willow Warbler, a new Whitethroat (saw four this morning) and this invisible reeler...




Yes I did it - I got my Gropper! You will probably need to turn up the sound and listen carefully to the above YouTube clip, but that's all I can offer you I'm afraid as per usual for a spring migrant Grasshopper Warbler it didn't show. I am so happy to get one of these on my Patchwork Challenge year list, because if you miss out on Gropper in the spring, you have probably missed them for the year - autumn ones are hard to catch up with here.

It was nice to get some better views of the very vocal but highly elusive Lesser Whitethroat on today's visit, although a completely clear view was only just about manageable...



And here's one of the Common Whitethroats, this particular individual has been in since Wednesday...



Whilst walking through a field of Rapeseed it was a bit odd to suddenly hear some Brent Geese calling, but I couldn't see a thing. I did eventually get to see them when I arrived at the first decent viewpoint over the sea, a nice flock of eight Pale-bellied Brent Geese...



They soon swam in towards the rocks just east of the river mouth, and began feeding here...



All in all a rather pleasant morning out with a nice bit of variety. Oh I do love spring.

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