Sunday, 21 August 2011

Knocking Spots Off the Flies

So what ornithological delights have I got this time? A check of Uttoxeter Quarry yesterday didn't amount to much. Although a little bit of migration of African wildfowl you would believe, oh yes, in the form of a pair of Cape Shelduck and 8 Egyptian Geese. I'm sure flown in from Africa and not from up the road in Rocester!

It's also a time of year when Canada and Greylag Geese form post-breeding flocks. Along with 6 Canada x Greylag hybrids, there's also this one. It's Dr Doolittle time, because I've never seen anything like it in my life! What's gone on there?

Over in Burton for the evening, so a look round Branston Gravel Pits and Whitemoor Haye was done beforehand. Quite a nice selection of birds round Branston's sandy pit actually, including a juvenile Spotted Redshank, 2 Ruff, 14 Green Sandpipers, 13 Curlew, 2 Little Egrets and an adult Water Rail.

Whitemoor Haye had 5 Greenshank, 11 Pochard, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and this gull. It reminds me of the gull I saw in the Blithfield gull roost on New Years Day last year. A paler head and mantle than the LBB Gull behind it. So I think its a 1st summer Yellow-legged, I don't think I can turn it into a Caspian Gull! Any comments or thoughts on this gull would be very welcome though.

And as for today, all I've done is a autumn migrant check of Swineholes Wood. Which is something I might do a bit more of during this autumn, that's the best laid plan anyway.

One aspect of birding that I've always enjoyed at this time of year is finding a flock of tits and warblers in a wood or hedgerow, and try to pick out something more unusual. Well in one flock at Swineholes today which favoured a spot by a dry stone wall, contained a Redstart and a number of Spotted Flycatchers. At least four Spot Flys including a juvenile, but could well have been more as they were constantly on the move.

1 comment:

Chris65 said...

Hi Richard, I'm no gull expert (in fact I hate them) but it's certainly got that white headed appearence you get with Caspians, not sure about bill or leg colour, thought bill should be paler with a dark tip, the other thing would poss be the time of year, be interesting to see what the experts think, try it on the forum and good luck, chris.