Thursday, 26 December 2013

Baffins Pond

I have always thought of Boxing Day as a day to be out in the fresh air, anything to relieve the stultifying effects of an over indulgence in rich food and the banal unimaginative products on the television. There must be an inverse law in the fact that the more television channels you have available there is less to watch.

So, not too early this morning, I made my way to Baffins Pond in Portsmouth. Russ Tofts had made a Christmas Day posting on HOS that two Water Rails were present along with a bonus Chiffchaff. Earlier in the year the Water Rails had proved very obliging and given the amount of rain we have had recently, the park paths were more inviting than the muddy bridle paths of Sussex and I can't resist Rallus aquaticus.

I used to fish Baffins back in the 1960's when it was just an uninspiring concrete bowl - what a difference today. Someone with a bit of foresight has added several areas where willow, rush and reed have been able to grow, providing a haven for wildlife in the middle of the city. Good numbers of Tufted Ducks are present along with a few Shovelers and some Mallards of mixed parentage. Mute Swans, a Grey Heron, Coots and Moorhens together with a host of Black-headed Gulls were the supporting cast.

Sure enough, I found a Water Rail but it was somewhat reluctant to pose in the open, lots of people enjoying the sunshine might just have deterred it. The Chiffchaff had found a companion and both were feeding in the reedbed in front of me, one even managed some weak calls. Thanks for the sighting report Russ - a pleasant morning birding

Plenty of Tufteds.......
.....expecting to be fed.

The occasional Shoveler

The ever present Grey Heron

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