Birding Wales – Waxwings

I received a phone call the other day from Tony Cross of Welsh Ringing fame “Did I want to come and try to ring Waxwings ?” and could I pick Sarah, a trainee ringer, up on the way.. Early the next morning we set off in thick fog, wondering how this would effect the birds. We arrived in Newbridge-on-wye and set our stall out at an A road that was lined with Hawthorn and Buckthorn bushes. The previous day Tony had colour-ringed six birds here and the hope was that they would return to the same bushes. Needless to say a few hours later the nets were still empty, the birds had far too many bushes to choose from. We located them a few times over the space of a few kilometres.

Waxwings, Newbridge-on-Wye 8th Jan 2017

Waxwings, Newbridge-on-Wye, 8th Jan 2017

A number of the birds were colour-ringed, some by Tony earlier but the image above shows blue over white which had been ringed in Aberdeen back in December. Here’s hoping for better luck next time
Mark C

 

Pied Wagtail at Hill Head

Whilst down the sea front on Friday, I came across a very confiding Pied Wagtail. A bird that is common enough, but one I don’t seem to have too many pictures of. The bird was feeding on the platform just over the bridge by the visitor centre, in the area where people go to feed the ducks and swans. Needless to say the bird was feeding on the morsels dropped during that process. I sat on one of the benches and the bird came nearer as it fed allowing a few close shots.

Pied Wagtail, Hill Head, 15 Jan 2017

Pied Wagtail, Hill Head, 15 Jan 2017

Pied Wagtail, Hill Head, 15 Jan 2017

Pied Wagtail, Hill Head, 15 Jan 2017

Steve C

Snow Bunting still going strong at Hill Head

I had the afternoon off today, so after booking the Wigeon Room at the Haven for the RNBWS AGM I decided to stroll along the front. The weather was a little on the nippy side, but I came across quite a few birds in the harbour as well as along the harbour spit, (more on those later). As I walked along the promenade, I spied Dave Wallace looking out onto the beach so I popped along to join him. As I neared he pointed down to the beach and I guessed that he was on the Snow Bunting that has now been in residence for a month. Sure enough the bird was showing well down on the beach. With the sun shining I decided that I would get down to the tide line to get some (hopefully) decent pictures of the bird.

Snow Bunting, Hill Head, 13 Jan 2017

Snow Bunting, Hill Head, 13 Jan 2017

As we watched the bird commenced feeding on the high tide line and also flitted up onto the promenade path on which I had just walked. Unfortunately, I knew it would not be long before the next passers by flushed the bird, so I rattled off a few shots before the inevitable happened. A couple came along a few minutes later, but Dave spotted that the bloke had a camera so flagged him down and pointed out the Bunting. The couple kept their distance and true to form the bird hopped in their direction to within a few  feet. The chap rattled off a few shots as I did the same; the bird continuing to feed along the pathway. After five minutes or so just before the next walkers, the bird took to the air and headed off in the direction of the harbour spit.

The Snow Bunting takes to the Promenade, Hill Head, 13 Jan 2017

Snow Bunting, Hill Head, 13 Jan 2017

Snow Bunting in feeding mode, Hill Head, 13 Jan 2017

Snow Bunting, Hill Head, 13 Jan 2017

Snow Bunting, Hill Head, 13 Jan 2017

Steve C

Water Pipit along the Titchfield Canal

After it stopped raining this morning I headed off for the Titchfield Canal where up to four Water Pipit had been reported in recent days around the Posbrook Flood. It is a species I haven’t connected with since 2008 hence the reason why it was my target species.  To my good fortune a single individual was on show in the horse field to the north of the track to Great Posbrooke Farm on my arrival, and I became aware of a second bird as I attempted to capture a gash iPhone digi-scoped record image.

Water Pipit, Titchfield Canal – 8 Jan 17

Pintail (2 pair), Shoveler and Canada Goose were the other additions to my Hampshire 2017 list from the visit.

Good birding,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Red Grouse on Rombald’s Moor

Whilst visiting my parents in Keighley just before Christmas, there was the opportunity to spend an hour up on the moor just up from where I used to live when I was a youngster. It was a limited period but the forecast said there was to be an hour of sun so I snatched the chance.

Standing up there in overcast horizontal drizzle I questioned the forecast more than once !!

Rombald’s Moor, Keighley, 21 Dec 2016

Rombald’s Moor, Keighley, 21 Dec 2016

The aim was to catch up with the moor’s Red Grouse and in that aspect I was successful coming across a dozen or so birds during the hour. Conditions did not make for great photography but as always it is nice to catch up with the birds. Which I still consider to be endemic to the British Isles.

Red Grouse, Rombald’s Moor, Keighley, 21 Dec 2016

Red Grouse, Rombald’s Moor, Keighley, 21 Dec 2016

Red Grouse, Rombald’s Moor, Keighley, 21 Dec 2016

Red Grouse, Rombald’s Moor, Keighley, 21 Dec 2016

Red Grouse, Rombald’s Moor, Keighley, 21 Dec 2016

Steve C

Little Grebe at Newlands Farm, Fareham – last ‘Patch Tick’ of 2016

This afternoon I took a local stroll in the sunshine around Newlands Farm but unlike my last visit I didn’t encounter a ‘Patch Tick’.  On that previous visit on New Year’s Eve a Little Grebe had been present on the upper of the two fishing ponds.  Due to the presence of a couple of fisherman, as there was today, I didn’t expect to spot anything of significance.  However, as I walked around the upper pond a Little Grebe made its presence known by moving away from the reeds in the northwest corner.

Little Grebe, Newlands Farm, Fareham – 31 Dec 16

A Little Grebe was found on the same pond by Mark R on 4 Dec 16.  Unfortunately the species had been conspicuous by its absence during my subsequent visits until New Year’s Eve.  Would it have been the same returning individual?

Good birding,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Hampshire Birding: Five Cattle Egrets at Warblington

With Slasher down visiting family over the festive period, it was an ideal time to get the Amigos out for a spot of birding along with honorary 4th member Sid Lawrence. We decided on Warblington to have a crack at the three Cattle Egrets that had been in the area of late. One bonus being Sid needed the species for his slowly improving Hants list. Driving down in thick fog we knew the conditions were not on our side but we still looked forward to a mornings birding. We parked up along Church Lane and looked into the cow field adjacent to the cemetery. We were rewarded with a single Cattle Egret feeding in company with a Little Egret. We spent a few minutes watching the bird and having taken a few record shots, (first two images below) we headed off towards Nore Barn. Hoping the fog would lift in the interim.

Cattle Egret, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Cattle Egret, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Conditions, unsurprisingly were no better on the front but we did walk back along the beach at low tide picking up Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwits and Grey Plover as well as Redshank and decent numbers of Dunlin. Wigeon and Brent geese made up the majority of the wildfowl seen.  We looped back to the Church via Pook Lane and picked a second Cattle Egret up feeding in the field at the junction with Church Lane. The conditions were not much better but we made our way back to the church and looked into the same field we had seen the Cattle Egret in earlier. We pretty soon picked up three Cattle Egrets along with three Little. Tony nipped back along the lane to see if the second bird we had seen was still there giving us a count of four. The few minutes he was away confirming the single bird was indeed  still feeding alone, Sid, Slash and I picked up a fourth bird in the cow field. Giving us an impressive total of five birds. Not sure if this is a record for this site or indeed Hants, but great to have five Cattle Egrets together. The sun had broken through the fog to some degree by this time so I rattled off a few more shots. Just as well I did it then as within a few minutes it was back in hiding.

Cattle Egret, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Out of interest the first three images below contain the five different birds.

Cattle Egrets 1 and 2 in the cow field, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Cattle Egrets 3 and 4 in the cow field, Little Egret to the rear, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Cattle Egret 5 at the junction of Pook and Church Lane, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Cattle Egret, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Cattle Egret, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Interestingly, (or maybe not) the cow in the above shot was defecating and on seeing this, the nearest Cattle Egret rushed over to the scene. I’ve spared the more graphic images !

Cattle Egret, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Cattle Egret, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Cattle Egret, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Cattle Egrets, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

Cattle Egrets, Warblington, 30 Dec 2016

 

Steve C

Greater Flamingos at Martin Mere

I walked back through the wildfowl collection on my way out of the reserve. The sun was disappearing behind clouds and quite weak, but I noticed it was casting a nice pale light on the captive Flamingo area. I thought I would snap a few close ups of several birds as they fed near to the walkway. I showed the images to my wife, expecting her to comment on the water droplets catching the light but all I received was Flamingos are ugly birds aren’t they ?? I suppose she has a point !!

Greater Flamingo, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Greater Flamingo, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016, closer crop of above

Greater Flamingo, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Greater Flamingo, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Greater Flamingo, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Steve C

 

Martin Mere Wildfowl Selection

As you would expect at a Wetland Centre; duck species were very much in evidence. The main mere holding good numbers of the expected species such as Mallard, Wigeon, Pintail Shelduck and Teal. With lesser numbers of Pochard and Tufted Duck. I cannot remember seeing any Shoveler, although several duck species were filter feeding in a similar manner in the shallows, as were a few of the Whooper Swans which I showed in a previous entry. I assume they are feeding on the grain from the daily feeds that gets thrown into the water and churned up by the various birds swimming around.

Shelduck, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Shelduck, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Pintail, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Pintail, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Pintail, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Pintail, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Pintail, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Wigeon, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Wigeon, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Mallard, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Steve C

 

Snow Bunting at Hill Head

As I mentioned in my last post I have been visiting family up in Lancashire and Yorkshire since last Saturday and had forgotten about the Snow Bunting that has been at Hill Head for the last week or so. After prompting from Ian Calderwood and Sid Lawrence, I was up bright and early today and down the foreshore at first light hoping to catch up with the bird. I parked up just as the sun was rising and it was rather overcast and glum, not deterred I walked along the front and checked the beach and was very happy to see the bird feeding on the high tide line. I plonked myself down and managed a few record shots as Amy Robjohns walked over.

Snow Bunting, Hill Head, 24 Dec 2016

I mentioned that the Bunting was showing well a few metres down the beach but when we looked together it was no where to be seen. We therefore walked along the front towards the chalets without success; so guessed the bird might have relocated to the harbour, another area it likes to frequent. As we walked onto the tarmac by the sea wall the Snow Bunting hopped out from underneath the wooden seats where it had been feeding.

Snow Bunting, Hill Head, 24 Dec 2016

Snow Bunting, Hill Head, 24 Dec 2016

We then watched the bird for a few minutes before Mark Rolfe pulled in and attempted to run the bird over. (He knows I’m kidding). The bird then moved to the rough grass opposite the entrance to the Haven where it fed contentedly for the next twenty minutes or so. We did not have to move as the bird was very confiding and actually walked to within a few metres of where we stood!

Snow Bunting, Hill Head, 24 Dec 2016, (could almost be the Cairngorms).

Snow Bunting, Hill Head, 24 Dec 2016

The bird continued to feed in the same area before it was inevitably flushed by walkers as the sea front became busier. It popped back onto the beach where, it fed busily before being flushed again; this time not by the expected dog or walker, but a small party of Turnstones which seemed taken aback that the Bunting had strayed into their patch. The bird then flew briefly out to sea before heading east in the direction of the harbour. A very nice early Christmas present. Also nice to meet up with a chap, whose name I didn’t catch but as we chatted, we discovered we are both from the West Yorkshire town of Keighley. He is down visiting family over the festive season whereas I have now lived in Hampshire longer than I lived in Yorkshire. Still miss those Red Grouse though.

Steve C

Whooper Swans at Martin Mere

Whilst visiting the mother-in-law’s over the weekend, I managed to sneak away for a few hours to Martin Mere Wetland Centre near Burscough. The reserve is run by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and covers around 600 acres. Martin Mere (not to be confused with Marton Mere near Blackpool) is at its best in winter when good numbers of Whooper Swans, Pink-footed Geese and various duck species visit the various meres and adjacent agricultural grasslands. As well as wildfowl, the area also holds large numbers of Lapwings, Starlings, Gulls and a decent number of Ruff.

Whooper Swan, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Whooper Swan, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

I always enjoy catching back up with the Whooper Swans in particular. Around 300 birds were present during my visit. Lower than average but most likely down to the mild conditions we have so far experienced this winter. Whooper Swans breed across northern Eurasia, with a few pairs in Scotland, I remember seeing a few summering birds on the Outer Hebrides when I visited in May 2010. The birds at Martin Mere are from the Icelandic breeding population.

Whooper Swan, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Whooper Swan, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Whooper Swan, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Family party of Whooper Swans flying towards the Mere, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

One good thing for the photography at Martin Mere is the fact that the wildfowl gets a daily feed at three in the afternoon. Although I was away by then unfortunately, however it does mean they have several hides that give close views of the main mere. The birds must get semi used to the window hatches going up and down as many lurk around in the shallows away from the main feeding time. Throughout the morning, a number of swans were bathing and preening as well as filter feeding in the shallows. This latter activity often giving great views as the birds fed, Shoveler like in front of the hides.

Feeding Whooper Swan, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Closer crop of above image

Feeding Whooper Swan, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Preening Whooper Swan, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Whooper Swan, Martin Mere, 18 Dec 2016

Steve C

First-winter Little Gull at Brownwich, Hampshire

The highlight of a visit to Brownwich and Chilling Cliffs today was a completely unexpected first-winter Little Gull. It was as I scanned through the, not so unexpected, hundreds of Dark-bellied Brent Geese in the cliff top fields that I noticed a gull drop down ‘dip feeding’ style in the background.  I immediately shifted target to the small gull and noticed the very prominent black ‘W’ wing pattern and head markings.  The Little Gull also appeared to show a pronounced forked tail before it eventually settled on the ground beyond what had formerly been a rhubarb field.  However, it was soon back in the air as it, and many of the other birds, reacted to the large shadow cast from the first of four paragliders (?) that drifted pass behind me on the updrafts provided by the cliffs.  I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to digiscope the Little Gull using my iPhone through a very narrow gap in the hedgerow along the footpath to Thatchers Coppice.  The bird, that had settled again, was actually too close to focus on, but at least the shocking record image below confirms the ID. =D.

Little Gull (1st-winter), Brownwich – 22 Dec 16

Although I had scanned the ‘Brents’ on the off chance of a Black Brant or Red-breasted Goose I was more than happy to settle for the Little Gull.

Good birding,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

A FIRST for the continent of South America: Black-winged Petrel

Below is the article I drafted for the Royal Naval Bird Watching Society’s 2016 edition of its annual Sea Swallow publication. The sighting has subsequently been confirmed as a first for South America and is included in the new checklist of Chilean birds contained in the anniversary hardcopy issue of the Chilean bird magazine ‘La Chiricoca’.  Mr Alvaro Jaramillo has been kind enough to provide us with a copy.  The record is a typical case of being in the right place at the right time with a DSLR to hand.

‘With the austral summer drawing to an end the Royal Navy Ice Patrol Ship HMS PROTECTOR completed Antarctic tasking on 28 Mar 14 and headed North across Drake Passage to visit Punta Arenas in Chile 3-9 Apr 14. In mid-May the ship was programmed to undertake a maintenance period in Charleston USA.  However, instead of remaining in the Atlantic Ocean HMS PROTECTOR took the Pacific Ocean route via the Patagonian Canal and subsequently the Panama Canal, which is a surprisingly direct route.  It was intended to visit Lima in Peru during the passage north through the Pacific but unfortunately, for regional political reasons, the necessary diplomatic clearance was not forthcoming.  Consequently, the modified navigation track to Panama took the ship on a subtlety more ‘westerly’ northerly course and further away from the South American coast.  I had never been in the Pacific before but fellow ‘birder’ Steve Copsey had on the destroyer HMS YORK back in 2011.  HMS YORK did visit Lima, and had planned to visit Valparaíso as well, during its passage north and consequently remained much closer to the Chilean coastline enabling Steve to enjoy a richer variety and number of birds on that particular passage.  It was a fact that he stressed daily by comparing the typical species he had seen on HMS YORK with those seen on board HMS PROTECTOR at a similar given latitude.  However, we were both oblivious to the apparent significance of one particular sighting from our meager more distal pelagic records from HMS PROTECTOR.

It wasn’t until August the following year, after both Steve and I had both been re-assigned from HMS PROTECTOR to shore appointments that Mr Alvaro Jaramillo, co-author of the ‘Birds of Chile’ Field Guide, the very book we had referred to during our earlier ‘birding’ exploits in Punta Arenas, discovered our ‘Three Amigos Birding’ Blog on the Internet. Keen to know if any of our Antarctic Petrel, Black-winged Petrel or Leach’s Storm-petrel sightings were within Chilean waters he submitted a comment requesting the latitude and longitude of our sightings for those particular species.  I duly replied with the information for Alvaro to confirm that the Black-winged Petrel Pterodroma nigripennis encountered on 17 Apr 14 at 23.77°S 78.5°W, prior to crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, was not just a ‘lifer’ within Chilean waters, but a potential first for South America!

Black-winged Petrel, within EEZ of Desventuradas Islands – 17 Apr 14 [Photographed by fellow Amigo Steve Copsey]

Black-winged Petrel, within EEZ of Desventuradas Islands – 17 Apr 14 [Photographed by fellow Amigo Steve Copsey]

The identification of the different species of the ‘cookilarias’ Pterodroma Petrels with a Pacific distribution that reaches east towards the South American Continent (Gauld’s, Cook’s, De Filippi’s, Stejneger’s,  Black-winged and Collared) and the larger Galápagos Petrel is not straight forward.  All have grey upperparts with a dark ’M’ marking across the open wing and white below with varying amounts of dark underwing markings.  However, despite the similarities the Black-winged Petrel has the most conspicuous underwing markings comprised of a broad dark trailing edge and broad dark tick mark extending over halfway towards the body.

Being a ‘lifer’ for both of us we rattled off dozens of shots with our DSLR cameras whilst the bird banked from side to side as it swiftly passed the ship at 12:35 during our daily lunchtime ‘birding’ session from the upper deck. Although HMS PROTECTOR was hundreds of kilometres from the South American mainland the ship was within the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Chilean Desventuradas Islands, located 850km west of the continent, and consequently within South American waters.  Had the ship headed directly for Lima as originally planned, after the Patagonian Canal pilot had been dropped off at Puerto Montt in southern Chile, the navigation track would not have passed through the EEZ and Mr Alvaro Jaramillo would have dismissed the record along with all the others.  Mr Alvaro Jaramillo subsequently published the record in the rare bird roundup of the online magazine ‘La Chiricoca’ for acceptance by the ‘Red de Observadores de Aves y Vida Silvestre de Chile’ (ROC) Chilean bird observation network.

The following day (18 Apr 14), to the north of the Desventuradas Islands EEZ, Steve and I encountered a further five Black-winged Petrels. The additional sightings supported Mr Alvaro Jaramillo suspicion that Black-winged Petrel had either previously been overlooked in the area or the species was expanding its range to the east.  HMS PROTECTOR encountered numerous cruise ships steaming between wildlife hotspots in the South Atlantic and Southern Oceans.  However, wildlife diversity is not a factor considered in the planning of Royal Navy operations.  Consequently, records from RN warships can be of real significance and provide much needed data from under recorded areas, as our sightings of Black-winged Petrel have proven.’

Black-winged Petrel, Central Eastern Pacific – 18 Apr 14

Good birding,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Shackleton Walk, South Georgia – Brown Skuas ripping apart a Gentoo Penguin Carcass

I uploaded the images for this Blog entry well over a year ago but that was as far as I got with it.  However, inspired by the two-part TV series ‘Shackleton’ I had recorded and only recently viewed I decided I really should make the effort to add the narrative and finally complete the draft.  During my twenty-five months assigned to the Royal Navy Ice Patrol Ship HMS PROTECTOR I visited South Georgia on numerous occasions.  My penultimate time ashore on the island involved completing the final 6km non-technical section, from Fortuna Bay to the derelict whaling station at Stromness, of the famous ‘Shackleton Walk’.  However, the shore party of twenty-four members of the Ship’s Company, including the Royal Marine Detachment, were landed at the derelict whaling station at Husvik located to the south of Stromness.  Consequently, it was necessary to negotiate a 12km route from Husvik that included a demanding initial ascent just to reach Fortuna Bay to commence that final 6km stretch of the ‘Shackleton Walk’.

I was fortunate enough to be amongst the first stick to be landed at Husvik and consequently I had an opportunity to admire the abundant wildlife around the derelict whaling station.  The most abundant species was the Antarctic Fur Seal with literally hundreds of playful pups along the foreshore including a leucistic individual.

Antarctic Seal pups, Husvik, South Georgia – 13 Feb 15

Husvik Whaling Station, South Georgia – 13 Feb 15

Antarctic Seal (adult), Husvik, South Georgia – 13 Feb 15

I had reached the top of the saddle formed between the two peaks behind Husvik back in Mar 13 when I first attempted the ‘Shackleton Walk’.  However, due to the extremely strong winds encountered at the top it was decided to abandon the planned trek and return the way we had came in the lee provided by the terrain.  Fortunately on this occasion the weather conditions were much improved and consequently we continued onward through the spectacular interior of the island.

South Georgia interior – 13 Feb 15. [Photographed by LA(PHOT) Keith Morgan]

South Georgia interior – 13 Feb 15

South Georgia interior – 13 Feb 15. [Photographed by LA(PHOT) Keith Morgan]

At Fortuna Bay I enjoyed the last of my coffee and a rock solid ‘Snickers’ bar that had been in the side pocket of my rucksack.  After my exertions the nutty bar and lukewarm coffee tasted absolutely divine as I enjoyed the abundant wildlife that was on show around the shore of the bay.  As well as numerous Antarctic Seal and several groups of Elephant Seal there were literally 100s of distant King Penguins spread out along a river mouth on the far side of the bay.

Fortuna Bay, South Georgia – 13 Feb 15

Much to the dismay of several, the first stretch of the ‘Shackleton Walk’ involved turning about and walking back up the slope we had descended to reach Fortuna Bay for a kilometre to the pass that leads down to Stromness.  The highlight on that descent was two Brown Skua that made very light work disposing of a Gentoo Penguin carcass.  The pair worked together pulling the carcass apart and dismembering it into edible pieces with apparent ease.  Unfortunately, the predicted weather front had arrived and the mainly sunny conditions we had enjoyed throughout the day were replaced with the first spots of rain.

Brown Skua, Stromness, South Georgia – 13 Feb 15

Brown Skua, Stromness, South Georgia – 13 Feb 15

Brown Skua, Stromness, South Georgia – 13 Feb 15

Brown Skua, Stromness, South Georgia – 13 Feb 15

Good birding,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Dartford Warbler at Hook with Warsash

Spent a couple of hours this pleasant afternoon down at Hook. I was hoping to catch a few waders feeding on the rising tide, unfortunately I messed up the timings so when I arrived  at the harbour wall I was greeted by a few Wigeon and a single Brent on the sea. They were catching the low afternoon sun quite nice so worth a shot or two.

Wigeon 1, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Wigeon, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Dark-bellied Brent Geese 1a, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

The links and scrape were on the whole rather quiet, but I did notice a flicker of movement in the nearby Gorse as  I watched some Canada Geese. I literally got the camera up as one of two Dartford Warblers flitted up perched out in the open for a split second before dropping back into cover.

Dartford Warbler 1, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Dartford Warbler, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Dartford Warbler 1b, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Closer crop of above image

Like I said not too much else around save the usual scrape species; Shoveler, Pintail and Teal in decent numbers. A few Little Egrets and a flock of Canada Geese.

Little Egret 2, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Little Egret, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Canada Goose 1, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Canada Goose, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Canada Geese 1, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Canada Geese, Hook with Warsash, 4 Dec 2016

Steve C