Friday, 16 January 2015

... just what I've been waiting for!

Taking the time out for some local patch birding today, I was keen to catch up with the dartford warbler (Sylvia undata) that has been reported at Fort Cumberland since the 13th of this month.

Within moments of getting out of the car at Fort Cumberland (Open Space) car park, I picked out the distant call of the dartford warbler. I was very excited. I have been hoping for a contact with this species at Fort Cumberland since I first started birding there some years back, the interpretation board holds a tantalising photograph. But, I was beginning to believe it was mythical creature until the Portsdown Hill Countryside Ranger recently confirmed that he had seen this species on the site.

Closing in on the location of the calling bird amongst the gorse, I was caught out by it's sudden appearence in a scrubby thorn, against the sun, the camera not yet set up properly.

However, patience played off, and having positioned myself the sunward side of the gorse block, I was able to secure some record shots within the half hour.

Having left Fort Cumberland a happier man, I dropped into Milton Lock foreshore and picked out a single mediterranean gull (Larus melanocephalus) amongst the gull roost on the mudflats.