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Monday, 13 November 2017

Non birding

A pre-Xmas shopping trip to Chi where a couple of tit flocks at both south and north end of theatre carpark included 2-3Goldcrests.
Back at base a reasonably showy Cetti's, the first Water Rail of the winter calling and 18 Shoveler.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Rather close Sprawk!

The drive over to TH produced two thermalling Buzzards over Mays Lane by the Stubbington 30 sign. Apparently there were 25+ Eider offshore just beforw I arrived but I think they'd probably headed off to Brownwich as they typically do. Percy the Pochard was back in the harbour.

On the eastside this Grey Wagtail was fairly obliging; no Marsh Harrier for me today and just one very distant Kingfisher, 30+ BTGs, four Curlew feeding in the meadow plus the usual Buzzards and Kestrels. A Sparrowhawk (f or juv) was hunting and flushing Snipe.

On the west side not much other than Teal; the effect of the previous week's work on the scrapes was keeping the birds away. A Cettis showed well.

As it warmed up a few Common Darters came out  on the boardwalk to warm up along with a very fresh Red Admiral, Helophilus pendulus and a few wasps on ivy.

The male Sparrowhawk above was pointed out to me; it seemed bright eyed and its wings were held in place but definitely gave the impression of  having had an 'incident' being within 15ft for over an hour at least. However, it did eventually fly off just as I was showing it to a family so hopefully it was OK.

Friday, 10 November 2017

PHP, BP and FM carpark

Photos from Wednesday.

Today, greeted by a Sparrowhawk slipping downwind and away SE unlike Wednesday's which went off like an Exocet through the gardens.

Two or three Buzzards over whilst having an early lunch.

The Goosanders weren't playing ball today mostly sleeping in the shade of the island with a couple of Tufted Ducks and a male Pochard.

Small bird wise just one Chiffchaff and several argumentative Goldcrests in the bushes adjacent to the 'insect patch'.

Back to the water where one Little Grebe, a substantial drop in Cormorant numbers from Wednesday's 54+ to ten or so but an increase in Common Gulls to 50+.

Insect wise still Common Darter and Red Admiral.

A quick stop at the FM carpark produced 40+ Avocet mostly roosting.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Yesterday, a distant Kingfisher  (above) from Suffern Hide (and two others chasing each other upstream). Sadly pretty much nothing else bar one Barnacle Goose, two Curlews, heard Beardies/Water Rail/Cettis/single Chiffchaff.
Patches of sunlit  Ivy had Eristalis pertinax, Episyrphus balteatus and honey bees; still several Red Admirals and Common Darters.

West side closed for a weeks maintenance.

Back home Shovelers up to fourteen and heard Cettis.

Today 20 or so Cormorants and a decent sized tit flock (3 species) plus four Goldcrests one of which came in close in response to pishing.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Another county tick ..... I think

Drove over to Blashford where the Pink-footed Goose eventually appeared as the sea of Greylags parted briefly. Don't recall ever seeing PFG in Hants. A couple of Goldeneye and a GWE at the far end but precious little else.

Brief chat with Judy, mostly about recent hospital stay!!

Two vocal Cettis and a single heard Kingfisher on the way to Ivy south where two distant Peregrines were the best on offer although a 9 inch Pike just below the windows was quite watchable. One visiting tog showed me BOC shots of one of the PHP Goosanders struggling with a large Perch.

Finally, last year's Shaggy Inkcap, below,  has popped up in the same place.

Friday, 3 November 2017


Yesterday, nice still, sunny and warm conditions; not what you expect for the 2nd November. Tide ideal for Purple Sandpipers but if they were there I couldn't find them in the strong low sun, just two Rock Pipits inside the moat.

At Eastney a few parties of Brent, single Grey Plover and RBM. Two single herons tried to cross from Hayling to Eastney one successfully and one driven mercilessly back eastwards by two aggressive Herring Gulls.

Today a slow walk round the pond produced just seven Shoveler, two terrapins and a 'chwitt' ing Cetti's Warbler. Big surprise were a pair of Wigeon sleeping in the shade of the main island; I'm sure they will decamp to somewhere more suitable overnight.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Secret shopper!!

Well today was first visit to PB in seven weeks and first as a non-volunteer.
Joked with Pete and co about being a 'secret shopper' and assessing and rating Hide Guides!! In the event I still spent time talking to visitors about Id'ing Pec Sand, migration and vagrancy etc just as if I was still a volunteer.

The drive in was pretty painless even around Chichester and it was nice to see how healthy the Storrington pond looks; a Grey Heron was on the duck house and according to Pete was on the pavement when he came through.

North Brooks was well disturbed due to electric carp removal and ditch clearance so Westmead held most of the ducks. A Marsh Harrier quartered and a noisy Peregrine flew out of site behind the hide. Passerines were virtually absent other than a handful of typically invisible flyover redpolls.

Nice to catch up with JAN for the second time this year; he was chuffed to have ringed a YBW at Ladywells last month.

Lunch on the terrace, joined by Michael with Ann arriving just as we set off for afternoon shift.

Zero between centre and Black Wood other than very noisy, angry rattling Mistle Thrush - maybe it had found a roosting Tawny Owl.

Return to Wetmead and the sun was in your face and no sign of Pec etc.

Drive home was slower at Chi unsurprisingly at start of rush hour(s).