Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Squacco Heron - Dunge

Squacco's don't seem to come up that much, so when this bird, which was relatively local at Dunge arrived, it was something i wanted to see.

After work last night i was on route mid rush hour and the traffic was Ok, i arrived just gone 6pm and parked up along by Sprinfield Bridge. I slowly made my way round the path ways but no sign. Eventually arriving at the viewing mound. I stayed here for a while hoping i may catch the bird in flight but still nothing.

Back to Denge Marsh Hide, viewing from the hide was right into the sun and useless. Slowly again making my way around i picked up a couple of Hobbies, Marsh Harrier, numerous Tern's. Warblers in the form of Sedge, Reed, Whitethroat and Blackcap could be seen in close proximity.

A family of Bearded Tit rushed about the reeds within feet of me but always buried and no camera action to be had.

I was still looking for the heron and it was looking like a dip; I made a decision to slowly head back to the car. Finally in the SW corner of Denge Marsh right out in the open on the far side stood one Squacco Heron. It fed, preened and stood motionless for about 15 minutes, great scope views to be had although always distant.



Eventually it took flight and headed towards the center buildings and out of view.







Saturday, 10 June 2017

Elegant Tern

So we hatched a plan to go Friday; but no news till late at Hayling Island - too late for us. Us being me and Monkey.

We decided on Friday to go today.......the afternoon would be best. Not because of any birding intellect. We were both busy because we have lives. We would go on News as well.

So today arrives.......what the heck lets go regardless because we thought we have lives but clearly we dont. On route by 1pm and News south of the river....... the birds at Pagham Harbour; Church Norton.

I've been there once before it was double MEGA tick day. Hudsionian Whimbrel (although this will be short lived) and Greater Yellow Legs, Titchfield. Was this a good omen??

Sat Nat reprogrammed.....more news came in. Bird flew southwest strongly. Decision time.......

Hayling Island? West Wittering just opposite East Point Hayling Island....clever huh? or stick it out at Church Norton.

Church Norton it was. About 60 odd birders still there, chilling, relaxing, up to no good.......Where have i heard that before?.....any way.......



Well after 20 minutes of scanning the terns, Sandwich, Little & Common. Dismissing a million Med Gulls, ignoring numerous Cormorants and everything else somebody shouts, its here on the spit. Not two minutes before had me and Monkey done a line up, Sandwich, Little, Little, Sandwich, Sandwich, Little, Common, Common, Little. and now the Elegant had dropped in mid line.

3rd bird from the left and TICK TICK BOOM! It settled, pruned up and sat for a good 5 minutes before flying over to the tern island where it dipped in an out of the harbor water, all good scope views. It returned to the spit and we had it in view continuously for 15/20 minutes before we left. Bird still there.









Sunday, 4 June 2017

Family Wander - Southend Gulls

So, its coming to the end of the half-term and as such a final little afternoon out found us in Southend, Gunners Park initially but the kids didn't like it. As such we headed to chavsville and all that Southend had to offer - arcades, candy floss, ice cream, tattoos, more tattoos, extremely expensive parking, flashing lights during the day and the smell of dodgy burgers. 

One thing that does take your mind of the surroundings are the Med Gulls and today there were lots, every stretch of the coast line had them. Finally a trip to the end of the pier, by train of course, and it gave me a few minutes to practice the flight photography - to say i am pleased is an under statement. I know there's better but for me this felt like a break through with the DSLR.