|Male Whinchat, |
Sinah Golf Course, Hayling Island
I have managed a few days out in the field over the last week. I had a good sea-watch on Monday and I’ve seen most of the migrants that I might
reasonably expect to have done. Overall the weather has been poor and the
birding not much better considering this should be the best time of year. Today
however was a good one with admittedly no major quality but plenty of quantity.
I was out of bed late due to lack of enthusiasm frankly, though on arrival in
the west corner of Hayling island it was quickly apparent there had been a
reasonable fall of migrants. Fiveteen Wheatear in a very small area of the
public golf course was a good start and these quickly became twenty five with
at least six Whinchats among them, including a couple of males which are always
worth seeing. A quick look at the sea then produced a distant Great Skua sat on
the sea bathing and flapping around for a bit before it flew off east, I’ve
seen several Arctic Skua and a couple of Poms this week so a Bonxie was a
welcome addition. The lure of land birds was strong and the sea too quiet so I
was soon back bashing the scrub. The Kench and Sinah Warren area was heaving
with birds to keep the bins active. Many of the Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats
and Blackcaps were perhaps breeding in the area but many were clearly migrants.
On top of these I had Redstart, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler and at least five
Spotted Flycatchers to keep things interesting.
|Spotted Flycatcher at The Kench, Hayling Island|
There has been a group of five White Storks roaming the south of England over
the last few days and they have been threatening to enter Hampshire airspace. I
refused to chase them around Sussex
yesterday and aborted a twitch once I had heard they were back in the air.
Hampshire is a different matter mind you and with late news (there’s a chance I
could have scoped them from where I was, frustratingly) of them flying over
Havant towards Portsdown, I decided it was worth a scan from the top of the
hill. I didn’t give it long but I also spent a while driving the fields north
of Portsdown hoping to find them on the deck with no joy.
By this time news had reached me of a quality bird on my proper patch of Woolmer pond. Steve Mansfield had found a Bar-tailed Godwit there mid morning and this would be a Woolmer tick for me if it hung on for long enough. There is no doubt I literally over looked and looked over this bird initially since I didn’t expect it to be mostly motionless and at such close range!
|Bar-tailed Godwit, Woolmer Pond|
The pond has benefitted greatly from the recent rain and is
looking very attractive for waders now; the six Common Sandpipers also present
seemed to agree. Clearly it had been a good day for migration and there had to
be a chance of finding Common Sandpiper nearby on one of the pits at Kingsley for
the patch list. Two Common Terns and three Common Sandpipers on the south pit was
a welcome sight and Whitethroat and Cuckoo were also new additions for the
patch-yearlist. All in all a pleasant days Hampshire birding.