Friday, 2 September 2011

Expect The Unexpected; But Expect The Expected Too!

Every September morning each year I wake up hoping today will be the day I finally find a Wryneck! During my stint at Spurn I never found one of these critters - I have always just missed out. They are one of my favourite birds, and have seen four on patch since returning from Spurn - but have still managed not to find one! The bird at Seaton Marshes last year was especially annoying!

Every autumn when there's a few Wrynecks about I check a selection of Wryneck-friendly looking spots, this includes Allhallows school at Rousdon. There's a certain area here that just look so perfect for this ant-loving Woodpecker. And yesterday, I tried yet again, and was absolutely stunned when a Wryneck flew up from the bank in front of me and sat in full view in an overhanging bush! After about twenty seconds or so it did the Wryneck thing - melting away into the bush and not reappearing! I think it probably dropped back down into the garden just on the other side of the wall, hopefully it is still about.

Rather annoyingly I didn't get a photo of it, so you will have to make do with a couple of site photos...

'The' bank

The bird flew up from besides that blue pipe, and in to the bush above. There was no way of seeing into the garden on the other side of the wall

Earlier in the day yesterday, a wander along the beach (whilst waiting for my car which was in the garage - it seems to be in there a lot lately!) produced my second patch Sanderling of the year and six Ringed Plovers.

And now to this morning, and I went up to the Beer Cemetery fields. It was fairly quiet, with a Garden Warbler, a few Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs in the bushes, with a couple of Yellow Wags and singles of Tree Pipit and Grey Wag over. I didn't catch much, but the young male Blackcap I netted offered a good example of a fault bar...

Can you see it not far from the end of the tail feather ends? This occurs when the bird is in the nest growing its tail feathers, and there's a blip in the feeding - this brief lack of food is shown by a pale and almost translucent line on the growing tail

After Beer Cem, knowing the tide was high I gave Black Hole Marsh a visit. Lots of birds still here, with a new in juv Little Stint and three Ruff being the best it had to offer.

One of the Ruffs, well Reeves - two were these and one a male

There were also three Ringed Plover, 16 Dunlin, three Greenshank, three Common Sands, nine Blackwits and a Whimbrel on show. It's about time we had some Curlew Sands though really - or something better!

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