Sunday, 25 August 2013

That Was the Week That Was


I have just had week of work and spent most of the time birding the Stour Valley concentrating mostly on the Grove Ferry end but with a couple of excursions all round. The birding has been fairly quiet with up to 23 Green Sandpipers at peak and 7 at the lowest count. There were 4 juvenile Little-ringed Plovers at the beginning of the week but all had gone by Wednesday with one from Thursday until today, Sunday. Little Egret numbers fluctuated with most days seeing 8-12 but on Monday 19th there were 19 while Water Rails were between 4 and 9 Marsh Harriers up to 7 and there were 4 Canada Geese present every morning with 22 Greylags but from Thursday on there were 15 Canada’s and 3 Greylag. There was a Greenshank present most days with 3 together today at Feast hide and 3 Spotted Redshanks appeared on Thursday morning and were still present today. A bit of excitement came on Friday morning when while standing on the Ramp watching 2 Lesser Whitethroats with half a dozen Whitethroats a Pipit landed on top of the Elder bush in front of me. I immediately knew this was no Meadow Pipit and was soon pointing the camera at it as I was fairly sure this was a Tree Pipit. Suspicions were confirmed when from the other side of the bush Marc Heath appeared having also seen the bird and soon after Norman McCanch arriving having seen one a week earlier nailed the coffin shut after seeing our photos. Other bits and bobs included 2 or 3 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 or 2 Turtle Doves, my first Whinchat of the year, 3 Garganey, up to 15 Bearded Tits and several Sedge Warbler youngsters. Yesterday (Saturday) it was raining most of the day and as there were a couple of Wood Sandpipers among the rest of afore mentioned waders I scanned hard to see if a Pectoral Sandpiper or a Stint of some sort may have turned up. During one such scan a juvenile Spotted Crake appeared in the scope and showed well although distant on the exposed mud. After a heavy shower Chiddy picked out 3 Ringed Plovers and 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers that had joined the throng, Spot Crake still showing on and off. The first Autumn Wigeon came in on Thursday as did the first Autumn Pintail. A Whimbrel was also a rain induced wader present on Saturday morning. Today the Spotted Crake was still performing from the Ramp with 1 Wood Sandpiper , 3 Spotted Redshanks still plus everything else much as the last couple of days. We spent a little while in the Feast hide before deciding to have a wander to the Water Meadows and just after we left the hide a large passerine flew across the path in front of us flew parallel with the path and landed in the large bramble opposite the hide entrance. On approached the bird flew out again and landed somewhere in the bushed around Feast hide this time giving the impression of a Shrike, from here on we lost it and carried on to the Water Meadows checking every bush just in case the ’shrike’ was perched up somewhere. We returned to the Ramp without adding anything at the Water Meadows and without seeing our ‘shrike!’ and was watching the Spotted Crake again when Chiddy got a call from Alison Borlase to inform us of A Wryneck on the path near Feast hide, this had everyone abandoning the scopes and backs to rush to Alison’s side where we were all able to connect with this valley mega, a bird last recorded here on 14rh September 1996. Chiddy and I also realised that this was our un-id’d shrike species, doh!. Below are some snaps I’ve taken over the past week.

A Fish in the river Stour

Avocets at Oare

Avocets at Oare

Banded Demoiselle

Clouded Yellow

Common Blues

Common Darter

Common Sandpiper

Godwit flock at Oare

Greenshank

Greenshank

Greenshank

Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker

Peacock

Peacock

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Redshank

Redshank

Reed Warbler

Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover

Green Sandpipers and a Ruff

Almost Bird of the day until the Wryneck showed up

Tree Pipit

Tree Pipit
Wryneck






3 comments:

  1. doh!!!!!!! never mind mate great set of photos

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  2. Nice set Martyn. I reckon your Darter might be a Ruddy, appears to show a waisted abdomen and from what I can see all black legs. That Wryneck could be the bird of the year I think.

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  3. Great set Martyn and some impressive visitors !

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