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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Long journey south (ish)

Yesterday a few Swallows headed south locally and today a similar number were heading north all put into perspective by 1000+ per hour in East Sussex and 150,000(!!!) mixed martins and Swallows at Sandwich Bay. Obviously ideal conditions for the long haul southwards.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

No spaces at north end carpark, so down to south end.

Stroll north produced just flyover M'ipits and Swallows plus Chiffs and Blackcaps. Harbour very quiet unlike last visit and just six Great-crested Grebes from the bench over lunch. All very calm, flat and warm with no sign of Osprey.

On the Billy flood, just three each of Dunlin and Redshank plus the Grey Phalarope, unfortunately a little too far away and into the sun for pictures, but still a lot closer than the Blashford bird.

Monday, 18 September 2017

A walk round PHP after 'house-check' was slow and uncomfortable.
Still 30+ Martin spp of both species, mostly House but including the odd Swallow. Cormorants now up to seven on boats, Canada Geese up to 175+ and a pair of Egyptian Geese with two fluffy youngsters, maybe 10+ days old.

Still a few calling and singing Chiffs, maybe 10 or so plus Comma and Migrant Hawker

Pleasingly, the Ivy edged path near the cafe had a couple of Ivy Bees plus a few hovers including Sercomyia silentis and  unsurprisingly Eristalis and Red Admiral.

Back in the car park Noon Fly and Tachina fera plus probably Mellinus arvensis and Eupeodes luniger. Camera and macro lens would have been a better option than bins today.

Thursday, 14 September 2017


A trip to Blashford started badly with pressing the wrong buttons in the garage coffee machine and ending up with a strong, black Americano.Damn!!

At Tern Hide quite a few people, mostly with cameras and still 7,000++ martins providing quite a spectacle. With so many airborne birds it was quite difficult to pick out yesterday's Black Tern, still hawking over the water beyond the distant spit. A Sparrowhawk was the only raptor. Unsurprisingly, still masses of Cormorants and Herons, a dozen or more Little Egrets and Walter.

Apparently the Grey Phalarope was showing from Lapwing hide; didn't fancy the schlepp out there but with persistance I scoped it as it swam out into view and well across Ibsley Water, disappeared for a while and the popped up again. I'm guessing it was 400-500 yards away!! One obvious juvenile Ruff on an island.

Back at picnic area, no Clifdens in the trap and worst of all realisation that lunch was in a carrier bag on a coathook back home. Gggrrr!!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Time-limited by doctor's appointment etc so a quick circuit of PHP in the hope of a wind-blown phalarope, Black Tern, Little Gull etc was, unsurprisingly pretty birdless!! Martins both down to single figures, four Cormorants spread across three boats and the Grey Heron heading for its fence-rail.

The Long-tailed Tits were alarm-calling in response to the local Kestrel and there were still fair numbers of Chiffchaff.

Also no Tufted Duck, Great-crested Grebe, but with kids back at school there was little disturbance today. Quite pleasant in the suny spells and reasonably sheltered. No obvious insects.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Most notable feature today was the absence of tern noises on arrival; eerily quiet compared to the past few months.

A glimpse of what was probably an Ivy Bee behind reception and lots of Red Admirals on Buddleia, Commas on Blackberries and Speckled Woods just sunbathing.

One refugium had a small Grass Snake and a Slow Worm and the other, three  Slow Worms no more than 3 inches long.

These buzzards above were presumably related as they spent plenty of time play fighting and behind them two Ravens landed distantly with the geese and a distant blob on a post was probably a Wheatear!! One Sedge Warbler was the first for a while. And Helophilus pendulus was the most numerous hover.

The West side was pretty empty, six Snipe being the best.