Monday, 22 September 2014

Red-backed Shrike and Dartford Warbler

Back on home turf, well nearly, as we started our day down in Hampshire looking for a Wryneck which, unfortunately, we couldn't find. A shame as on our local patch Trevor, the Pagham Birder was capturing some stunning shots - see here. In fact all we could find were a worn Small Copper ab caerulapunctata, several misplaced Redshanks and a wandering Grey Seal.

Redshanks on Budd's Sewage Farm
Small Copper, Lycaena phlaeas ab caerulapunctata - with small blue spots on the hindwing.

Then Martin unselfishly suggested we visit Sandy Point on Hayling Island for a Red-backed Shrike. He had seen this bird during the previous week but knew that I needed it for a year tick - so off we went. Locating the bird wasn't difficult but on our approach we were somewhat distracted by Stonechats and at least two Dartford Warblers. The nature reserve here is fenced and you have to rely on the birds coming close to you rather than the reverse. Consequently all the shots are from distance and are pretty heavy crops.

Finally we washed up on the North Wall at Pagham were we learned news of another Wryneck and made haste to where it had been found. Alas, the same old story - should have been here earlier. I suspect that we flushed it from the brambles on our way back to Breech Pool but no one got a clear view and certainly no positive ID

One more photograph - for Dave Shepherd, of the Dassault Falcon 20 (G-FRAI) which had been flying over Portsdown and Hayling Island during the morning. Serious amount of antennas and pods on the belly and wings.

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