Thursday 21 September 2017

Grey Phalarope

Considering it has very much been a Grey Phalarope autumn on the south coast of the UK this year (with for example eight together at Abbotsbury Swannery last week!) one was always on the cards here, but it's taken longer than I expected.

I was absolutely delighted the first-winter Grey Phalarope Phil found on Black Hole Marsh last night stayed for me to enjoy early this morning. As you can see it showed exceptionally well in the dull and sometimes wet conditions right by the entrance to the Island Hide...

This was when it was at its furthest...

Showing well!

First-winter Grey Phalarope with Dunlin

If the weather brightens up a bit and the bird stays around, there's going to be some proper nice pics of it. What a stunner.

I was amazed to learn this was a patch life tick for Tim Wright, but thinking about it they have been really scarce here in recent years. These are my last three records of Grey Phalarope for the patch (click on the date to take you to the corresponding blog post);

9/11/10 - one in flight off the sea front before flying high upriver. Subsequent searching for it resulted in the discovery of our first and only patch Long-billed Dowitcher!
5/10/10 - one on Black Hole Marsh all afternoon and evening.
5/10/08 - one on Colyford Marsh scrape all day (third record of Grey Phal that year).

I'm pretty sure Ian Mc has seen one during a sea watch since my last 2010 individual, but it's certainly been a while since one in the valley!

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