Sunday, 12 February 2012

Dawn to Dusk from Coast to Downs

  • Black Necked Grebes offshore at Lepe
  • Firecrest still at Calshot
  • Golden Plovers check in at Hoe Lane
  • Eastern Chiff-Chaff 
  • Jack's Bush devoid of Raptors and Owls
  • Sparrow Twitcher mistakes me for someone who gives a damn!

Started out pre-dawn in temperatures of -8Deg C. Fortunately, it didn't affect the birds on the coast with some good numbers of Waders at Lepe. Mostly Dunlin, with a few Turnstones, Oystercatchers and Curlews thrown in, and a couple of Ringed Plover and Grey Plover. Gulls were slightly more interesting with good numbers of Med. Gulls (60+) and a single Yellow Legged Gull.

Best of the birds offshore were 3 Black-Necked Grebes, and 4 Mergansers.

Calshot had some good photo opportunities with Teal and Little Egret close to the road. The wintering Firecrest is still present joined by a Chiff-Chaff today.

As temperatures crept above freezing, I checked out Hoe Lane and was pleased to see the pair of Stonechats still present in the field of rough grass, with 42 Golden plover also seen in the distance. A further 7 Plovers were in another field bringing the total just shy of 50.

As the afternoon wore on, the birds fizzled out, with just one more quality sighting.. An Eastern Chiff-Chaff at the sewage works near Brook. Got photos, but didn't hear it call unfortunately. However, it looks pretty good for Tristis, and if it stays in the area may even call in the coming weeks. Plenty of birds at the works, but nothing out of the usual: Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipits, and all the common Thrushes present.

Finished the day on a low with very little at Jack's Bush, other than Yellowhammer and a Reed Bunting.

I was also reminded why I have steered clear of Calshot for several weeks since the Spanish Sparrow was found! Within minutes of carefully pulling up on a verge and photographing the wildfowl, the birds were pushed out by a twitcher coming to my driving window and asking me which house the Sparrow was at!

Little Egret, Calshot, Feb 2012 Little Egret, Calshot, Feb 2012 Mediterranean Gulls, Lepe, Feb 2012
Teal, Calshot, Feb 2012 Teal, Calshot, Feb 2012 Teal, Calshot, Feb 2012
Red Breasted Merganser, Lepe, Feb 2012 Red Breasted Merganser, Lepe, Feb 2012
That Chiff-Chaff!...
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