Wednesday, 9 December 2015


The end of year dilemma continues - where to go today? The weather was ideal, sunshine  forecast all day and the heavy winds of late have disappeared. Finally we made a decision to head west to Pagham Harbour - always a banker.  We started at the North Wall, the tide was in but few birds had relocated to Breech Pool, just a handful of ducks and the obligatory Snipe. As we walked along the path two birds caught the eye, the first a Yellowhammer feeding on the path and happy to pose until a dog walker flushed it.

Out in the harbour the second bird, an unusual looking Wigeon, considerable white on the flank and a much reduced crown stripe, couldn't make up my mind whether it was a hybrid or just a juvenile. Pictures of both normal and oddity provided.

Then round to the Lagoon to see if we could locate Bart's dark Herring Gull, looking a good candidate for the American species it was worth investing some time to see if we could obtain some photographs. Unfortunately a no show but the Goldeneye kept us entertained for a while.

We finished the day at WWT Arundel, unfortunately nothing much to record as the Shovelers steadfastly refused to come close to the hide. The Kingfisher remained on the far side of the lake and the resident Grey Wagtail did the disappearing act before I could get my camera out.

Several other photographs collected during our visits to Dagenham Chase and Rainham Marshes, a great day out in what was new territory for me. Unfortunately we dipped both our intended targets, the Ferruginous Duck had gone AWOL and the Water Pipits failed to show.

In the garden the unseasonal mild weather has resulted in unexpected insect activity. The winter flowering honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima playing host to two species of hoverfly - Scaeva selenitica, Meliscaeva auricollis and White-tailed Bumblebees.


Some carrying mites.

Even a Honey Bee taking advantage of the late/very early season bounty.
 Thanks to Russ Tofts for the ID of the Hoverflies - will have to try and record some more.

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