Sunday, 31 August 2014

One for the conscience

A warm, largely sunny morning with the barest hint of a westerly breeze.

Dave and I were pleased to be finding the first few Meadow Pipits of autumn going south, a Grey Wagtail called as it too headed over, and there were still plenty of warblers in the bushes. These included Reed Warbler, and this Sedge Warbler, which had been bathing in the small pond.

Sedge Warbler
Shortly afterwards things went a bit strange. Dave had been staring at a Woodpigeon on the overhead cables, when a medium sized wader flew through his bins. He tried to get me on it, and said he thought it could be a Greenshank. I couldn't see anything, and thoughts of the Curlew I had missed in March began to rear their ugly head. Dave lost it, and we were both scanning the horizon when it reappeared, and this time we could both see it. It did look like a Greenshank but was just too far away. No calls came to put our minds at rest. I tried to get the scope up, but although Dave gave me a running commentary as it eventually disappeared behind Bannams Wood, I never saw it again.

So should we count it? The first, and quite possibly only one to turn up this year. I really wanted to count it. We both thought it looked like one. But what did we really see? Just a Greenshank-shaped bird. No plumage features, and no calls. Dave wouldn't commit himself beyond 90% sure, and so I will let it go. Drat it.

One bird which was noticeably more obvious this morning was Jay. We saw about five, one of which succeeded in creeping onto the photo year-list.

96. Jay
Rather like the Starling a month ago, I have just lost patience trying to get a decent shot, so this bird which landed at the far end of a stubble field will have to do.

The Greenshank apart, Dave was having a good morning. I pointed out the Whinchat in the weedy field, and he picked out the third Common Sandpiper of the year at the flash. Both were year-ticks for Dave. The flash also hosted 10 Green Sandpipers and 46 Teal.

With the sun out, insects forced their way into the day.

Southern Hawker
Common Blue
The tatty male Common Blue is the only male Blue I have seen here this year. They must be having a bad season.

We scanned the skies for raptors, counting 13 Common Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, and the Kestrels, but nothing out of the ordinary turned up today.

So we were left to rue what might have been.

No comments:

Post a Comment