Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Beardies, Stonechats, Kestrel and Water Rails

What a mouthful for a title. Yesterday I was moaning that I had hardly any photographs to blog - today the complete opposite. We started at Farlington marsh in another vain attempt at the White Fronted Geese  - truly a wild goose chase. Having nearly completed a full circuit of the marsh I had expended few pixels, a situation that was not really remedied by a flock of Bearded Tits that refused to show themselves, a few partial shots was all I could muster.


As we approached the car park Martin discovered a hat on the path which had obviously been dropped by the birder we had passed moments before. This must have set off a train of events that led to a remarkable day. By being delayed slightly we came across two male Stonechats willing to be photographed.

Next we were privileged to have close views of a female Kestrel which, while we were snapping away, dived down into the grass and emerged with what appeared to be a shrew or vole. Normally Kestrels disappear with their prey, not a bit of it, sitting out in the open she proceeded to have lunch in front of us. Unfortunately, said rodent was a tad too large to go down in one go, so the head was removed and eaten, followed by a few smaller chunks and then the rest slid down comfortably, albeit with a large lump in the throat.

 Having been delayed we decided that the rest of the day should be spent on the North Wall at Pagham. As I stated previously, Breech Pool now has a large expanse of mud with much reduced water levels. No doubt these conditions have brought out the Water Rails to play - see the previous blog. So all in all a great day's birding that was close to being another failure.

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