Monday, 15 October 2012

Rosy Pastor Eludes the Certainty


 

 

Arriving at the Grove Ferry entrance gate a tad early on Saturday I sat in the car and had a cup of tea and waited for the light to improve. As I was putting my boots on I could hear footsteps approaching and out of the darkness Alan Ashdown appeared and together we headed to the Ramp. While on the Ramp a huge flock of Starlings took to the air on the far side over the un-accessible back pools being harassed by a female Marsh Harrier. Amongst the 4500-5000 Starlings whirling around over the reeds a very pale looking bird stood out, and viewing through the scope is was plain to see it was a Starling species. To my mind it appeared to be a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling with its grey-white body with darker flight feathers and darker tail. As it was only a little after 7.00am the light was working against us and the distance made picking out crucial features impossible so, I couldn’t rule out the chance that it was a Leucistic or albino Common Starling. After ten minutes of swirling around and settling on Brambles and bushes the flock broke up and dispersed, a small amount passing over us and up the valley while the bulk flew out towards the Little Stour Valley alighting on telegraph wires by ‘Blue Bridge’. A decision to get back to the car and drive round was fruitless because on arrival there was only a couple dozen left and no sign of the pale bird. Back to birding the valley and we added 2 Ruff, 1 at the Ramp and 1 at Marsh Hide, 9 Cetti’s Warblers, 1200+ Teal, 90 Lapwings, 10 Marsh Harriers, 3 Pintail (2 Ramp, 1 Marsh Hide), 2 Little Egrets and 3 Sparrowhawks. There was a Wheatear from Marsh Hide and we noted at least 6 Grey Herons around the reserve but, there was no sign of any Great-white Egrets this weekend. A stop in the Reedbed Hide had us photographing the Kingfisher along with Tim Gutsel, sadly as it was rather cloudy and the rain was imminent the pictures were a little disappointing and, the Kingfisher hovered just feet away giving superb chance of grabbing a shot of this behaviour. 
Hovering in the rain from Reedbed Hide

Hovering in the rain from Reedbed Hide

Hovering in the rain from Reedbed Hide
Hovering in the rain from Reedbed Hide

On the Reedbed Hide post in the Saturday gloom
Alan and I left and carried on along the Lampen Wall and on the main lake were 68 Pochard, 1 Tufted Duck and 14 Great-crested Grebes. Also noted were 3-400 Swallows moving west, 2 Stonechats, 1 Kestrel, 12 Meadow Pipits and 5 Jays. On Sunday morning I positioned myself along the roadside behind the ‘back pools’ which is much closer than viewing from the Ramp. As the light improved I waited for the Starlings to leave roost and almost on cue, just after 7.00am the/a female Marsh Harrier flew in and put the 5000 odd flock of Starlings to the air. Despite a good thorough couple of scans the pale/Rose-coloured Starling could not be located and in brighter clear morning the flock dispersed much quicker and the true identity of my possible/probable/90% Rosy remained un clinched. Rom here I drove round to Stodmarsh and made my way to Reedbed where Steve Ashton, Tim Gutsel, Andy Hills et al. were all in situ and the Black-necked Grebe first seen yesterday afternoon was still present plus the Kingfisher was performing well and………….yes, it was sunny, also a Grey Wagtail dropped in for a few seconds.
On Sunday in the Sun

On Sunday in the Sun

On Sunday in the Sun
Black-necked Grebe from Reedbed Hide

Black-necked Grebe from Reedbed Hide

Black-necked Grebe from Reedbed Hide
Photos of both Grebe and Kingfisher in the back I had a quick look around the Alder Wood where I encountered a nice flock of 60 Siskins that were spooked of by a Sparrowhawk. I drove up to Collard’s where the duck numbers are starting to increase with 2 Pintail, 67 Tufted Duck and 280 Wigeon. On the way home I called in at Kingsdown and was able to catch up with the Yellow-browed Warbler Steve Reynaert. Also while there I located a Brambling plus several Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs were flitting about.
Poor, very poor record shot of the Yellow-browed Warbler in Kingsdown
 

4 comments:

  1. Estupendas capturas del Martin pescador.Saludos

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  2. Hi Martyn fantastic photos of the Kingfisher , cheers Rob

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  3. wow the kingfisher photo in flight are amazing

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