Tuesday 21 August 2012

Breech Pool

Took these at Breech Pool on Monday afternoon. Still can't make up my mind. I was concentrating on taking really useless shots of a Ruff when he came into the viewfinder. A knotty problem

There are some interesting goose mixtures on the pool at the moment - what appeared to be a flock of Canada Geese actually contained one Greylag, one Barnacle, 4 Barnacle x Canada and a dubious white faced Canada - just shows that you must take more care Dave.

Barnacle Goose

Barnacle x Canada Goose

Barnacle x Canada Goose

Barnacle x Canada Goose

Canada Goose with dubious ancestry??

With normal Canada Geese

 And the Ruff

never came close!!

The best of a poor day,  a flight shot of an obliging Curlew

Tuesday 14 August 2012

The Burgh

A really pleasant walk over The Burgh in surprisingly good weather. It was a walk with surprises, first up was a large Brimstone butterfly, normally I see these earlier in the year . Unfortunately I had my 400mm lens on so had to stand off a ways and capture it the best I could.

Second up was a juvenile  Marsh Harrier hunting over one of the game strips to the east of the "dew pond". He/she was not keen on coming close so only record shots, handheld with the 400mm. This is my eleventh species of bird of prey in the locality.

Buzzards were soaring everywhere, far too many to count but they seemed to be in groups of five or six, maybe still in family mode.

Plus, of course, the ubiquitous Kestrel

Third surprise was meeting my namesake David (The Quizmaster) Potter and his fellow birder Nigel Barnes. Great to be able to put faces to names, I hope they enjoyed their visit to Cissbury.

Glad they were present when the large Rook flew over, this chap has fooled me several times, mainly due to his size and the fact that he flies alone. Not a Raven after all

A mixed bag

Birding at the moment is either boom or bust, recent visits to Arlington and Church Norton have been on the quiet side. SOS reports seem to support this view, I just hope that one of my future visits coincides with a boom.

I watched an Osprey at Arlington make five unsuccessful dives, the sixth dive returned a small bream. All this at distance, unfortunately he didn't come near and all the photos were disappointing, again!


..and out


With the water levels at the reservoir high the Great Crested Grebes have taken advantage of the available nest sites. I am told these are the  first successful broods for at least two years.

We are experiencing passage migration in the garden as there are constant visits by Willow Warblers and a scarce occurrence of a Whitethroat

The House Sparrows have exceeded all  expectations and produced another brood, it really is good to hear that "cheep cheep" in the bushes.

 The juvenile crows are much more independent and the family have split up, this one delights in sitting at the bottom of the garden berating our cat, unfortunately she is very hard of hearing and at sixteen years of age, has no interest in chasing things.

The moth trap has been very successful of late,  large quantities of the more common moths rather than a large variety. One Garden Tiger being the highlight.

The pond is very quiet with occasional visits by Southern Hawkers and Red Darters , this Common Bluetail feeding on what appears to be a freshly caught spider.

What I first thought to be a hornet turned out to be a Volucella zonaria hoverfly, very smart.

So although everything seems quiet there really is plenty of activity

Friday 3 August 2012

North Wall

A mid-morning start at the North Wall today, where I found "Ratty" to be still resident in the sluice. The very low water levels mean that it is difficult for him to jump out of the water next to the metal pilings, it took at least three attempts before he finally made the safety of the bank. I also flushed a Kingfisher from the sluice gate but despite a long wait he never returned. On the pool there were few birds, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Spotted Redshank and several Lapwings.  

 Today was an attempt to obtain better shots of the Green Sandpipers - not entirely successful as the bird was somewhat sensitive to our loud chatter.

Two unusual birds flew in, I had no idea what they were, dark with white wing patches, further investigation revealed they are the itinerant Cape Shelducks that Trevor reported on his blog yesterday 

For comparison  - a pair in WWT Arundel

Two fine drakes

Really nice to catch up with Trevor and Ian, I suspect we did more gassing than birding but a least we put the world to rights.  

A quick visit to the flooded field gave Green Sandpiper and a lone Greenshank amongst other, more usual, suspects

All in all a slow but still enjoyable day

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Mud, mud, glorious mud!

Falling water levels have left the mud in Breech Pool exposed at last and of course the waders are taking advantage of it. This morning when I arrived on the North Wall  I could see Lapwings, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks, a single Greenshank, two Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank and a full supporting cast of ducks.

Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper


 Out in the harbour two Yellow Legged Gulls stood out for all to see. Later, as the tide came in a Whimbrel came close enough for some photography. Then as forecast, some rain - how unusual.