Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Missing out

Last Friday 11th, Dave C found a Black Tern hawking over the east side of the lake - unfortunately I was at work.  Its continued presence was broadcast through the afternoon, so I was hopeful of picking it up on my way home.  Alan S was still watching it at 6:30pm, until he departed.  I rolled up at 7pm and you've guessed it, no bird!  A very frustrating dip of a bird that has been ridiculously scarce in the county this year, this being the first and only record this year,  Ah well, it's difficult to see everything!

Roll on three days to Monday 14th.  I was on patch by 9am and checking out the usual haunts.  I was concentrating on the south bank, as this gives a good view of the lake and spit and is also where a lot of the passerine migrants tend to be.  At 10:45am I receive a text from Alan S saying that Neil W has been out running along the Thames and about 30 minutes earlier had seen an Osprey flying over.  It was also following the Thames and was flying west having apparently come from the direction of Little Marlow just a hop skip and a jump away.  How annoying is that!!  It certainly didn't fly over the pit, as I had been watching that all morning.  Two possibilities are that it flew along the Thames behind me and obscured by the railway hedge or that it flew in from the north but further west than the pit and only started following the Thames when it encountered it.  Either way, another one that feels like it has been missed!

Spotted Flycatchers have been having a good year on passage here, hopefully a sign of a good breeding season.  Up to 4 birds have been seen over the past week, mainly on the south bank.  On the 14th, I found 3 birds in the cottage garden staying faithful to a large cherry tree.  This morning there were 2 in the railway hedge.

Siskins have started returning to the region in numbers and I had yet another fly over this morning.  Also, slightly less expected, was a noisy flock of 12 Redpolls flying over north on the 14th and this morning another 2 flew over low west along the railway.  Having missed both of these species in the winter, Siskin in particular being non existent everywhere, it is nice to catch up with both again.

On the gull front, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was new in on the 11th and seen again on the 14th.  It had typically moulted most of its scapulars.  I always like the pale pink legs on birds of this age.

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