Friday, 16 March 2012

And now a Rock Pipit!

16th March - Somewhat surprisingly, I received a text this morning to say that the Sandwich Tern was still present and then at about 11:30am Dave P called to say that a pipit had just walked into view on the spit and he was going for his long lens to get a better look.  Shortly afterwards he called again to confirm that this was a Scandinavian Rock Pipit!

I arrived on site early afternoon to find that the pipit was still present, but the tern seemed to have departed.  The pipit was fairly distant and associating with a couple of Pied Wagtails and a couple of male Reed Buntings and occasionally went missing in the longer grass.  It gave the impression of being dark olive above, but with a greyer head, whilst the underparts were dark streaked across the breast and flanks and had a buffy pink wash to them.  It had a restricted pale supercilium and a pale eye ring and an indistinct pale wing bar.  It bobbed its tail quite a bit and was flighty at times - at one point it flew off fairly high with the wagtails, but then returned.  Record shots were extremely difficult due to the distance and low light levels and a couple of very poor ones are shown here, but it gives you some idea:

At about 2:15pm, the Sandwich Tern appeared again, flying around the eastern end of the pit and performing a couple of plunge dives.  It then settled on the back of the spit amongst the gulls and was still there when I left for the school pick up.

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