Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Far From Wet On The Birding Front

Yes, althought the rain has been falling virtually all morning - or maybe BECAUSE the rain has been falling all morning - the birding has been good, with a (plastic) patch rarity, and some variety in the wader camp.

Some time this morning Ian M texted saying he'd seen a prob Red-crested Pochard in flight on the river but it had landed out of view. A couple of hours later, a quick scan through some Mallards from Coronation Corner in the rain did indeed show a female Red-crested Pochard.

I was soaked through, as were the ducks, my optics were steamed up and covered in rain-drops, so over all - it wasn't a 'rarity' I was overjoyed with, and it won't be stuck in my memory for long! It was nowhere near as exciting as the pair last May, which were a patch tick for all who saw them (see HERE). Anyway, despite the dampness, here's my best and only effort...

How exciting!

Rewind the day, and at 06:30 I found myself scoping over Blackhole Marsh, which has stacks more water in it than when I last saw it!

The highlight was without doubt a flighty Wood Sandpiper - our first of the autumn, and somewhat overdue. It wouldn't perform at all really, the only time it did settle was just as I was leaving, but it was very distant. I did take a couple of videos, in which you can hear it calling, but aside a blurry blob, can't see it. I won't bother uploading them.

The rest of the collection on Blackhole Marsh (and other waders I've seen today) include: 1 Lapwing, 16 Ringed Plovers, 1 Little Ringed Plover (juv), 28+ Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, 6 Blackwits, 4 Green Sands and 7 Common Sands. Also at Blackhole Marsh it was nice to see a Water Rail feeding along the back edge, a Teal, and overhead my first Swift for about a week. Some of the Ringos at Blackhole were quite approachable...

adult

juvenile; a rather pale looking one too! Pity it doesn't have black legs :-)

Later on a look along the Estuary showed yet another juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. A nice classic-looking individual, but when I got the camera out he/she just wouldn't stop preening...

Another shy one!

Slightly better....only VERY slightly!

Although you can't see it in these photos (maybe just about in the lower photo?) this bird had started moulting into first-winter plumage. I guess most will look like this from now on.

Won't have much time for birding tomorrow, but am hoping for another early morning look over Blackhole Marsh. An American peep please :-)

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