Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Like it or Knot

A warm and muggy morning, and I continued my run of early (well early for me) starts on the patch which I have to say I'm quite enjoying! Met Prof W at 7.30, and Jamie P was of course already up there before work. Today it was well worth it, as no sooner had we got up the bank on Lockwood than PW spotted another juvenile Arctic Tern flying daintily around the NW section of the res. This was particularly good news as I'd missed one yesterday that JP had had just before my arrival, but which disappeared very soon after, as did today's bird.

Soon after Jamie spotted a grey & white-looking wader flying North up the flood relief channel. It was quite bulky-looking with relatively slow wing beats. PW got onto it before me and quickly identified it as a Knot - a patch first for myself and Jamie no less - good work lads! It appeared to come down over the Banbury res, and might be the juv bird JP & I saw on KGV res a few days earlier. My only minor gripe is that I didn't get it in the 'scope so views were distant...still, who knows it might yet reappear in the days to come.

After JP had gone his merry way, PW did well to find a pair of Greenshank lurking at the back of the relief channel, and superbly camouflaged in the surrounding muck and algae.  Oddly, one of the birds appeared to be hopping around on one leg, so may well be injured. I honestly think it would've been nigh on impossible to find them with bins alone, and indeed we may well have overlooked them yesterday when they'd been reported by another observer.. That's now 4 Greenshank I've had on the patch this year which is a record for me. The only other birds of note here were a flyover Yellow Wagtail, 5 Common Sandpipers, 4 Wheatears and a couple of Swifts.

With temps warming up nicely, we hauled ourselves around the South side, firstly East Warwick - where a single Wigeon was the highlight, and first of the year for both of us - then around 5 and 4 where there was little of note other than our 2 regular Peregrines sitting on adjacent pylons. Surprisingly, not a single hirundine seen today, but a very worthwhile visit to the patch.

Today's 2 distant, camouflaged Greenshank in the flood relief channel (top) and a not-so-spectacular Wigeon on the East Warwick (pics courtesy @birdingprof)

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