Friday, 20 March 2015

Don't mention the Solar Eclipse .. It wasn't visible in Southsea ..

The purple sandpiper (Calidris maritama) numbers have built up over the last week, with fifteen seen today. Two or three chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) provided vis-mig interest around the borders and tree-lined avenue behind the D-Day Museum. Three more were heard singing in the Rock Gardens. A single white butterfly caught the eye although I failed to nail the ID.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Patch birding .. Southsea seafront pt. 2

After my visit to Southsea Castle I went looking for Mediterranean gulls (Larus melanocephalus) along the sea front, finding seven individual birds: one on Southsea Common near the Cenotaph; two roosting on the beach opposite Canoe Lake; three on the beach adjacent to St George's Road, and a single bird opposite Esplanade Gardens.

Patch birding .. Southsea seafront pt. 1

Headed to Southsea Castle to check on the purps (Calidris maritama), as numbers have been reported on the up over the last week, counted eight (thirteen were reported yesterday).

The ringed sanderling (Calidris alba) B6WWWW was also present, and I took a few record shots to pass onto the Farlington Ringing Group. 2 Rock pipits (Anthus pertrosus) were very mobile, although one came within range whilst I quietly sat watching/photographing the sanderling.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

A brace of North American birds

An early start today to connect with the male surf scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) which has been reported off Stokes Bay, Gosport since 25th February. The bird was accompanied by two male common scoter (Melanitta nigra). The scoters were distant, in choppy seas, and the surfer stayed mainly with its back to the shore, although infrequently changing direction to show it's stunning head and bill features. My first Hampshire twitch of the year, and a Lifer. Unfortunately it was beyond the reach of my camera set up, hence the BTO Birdtrack record shot!

After watching the scoters for about an hour, I headed to Walpole Park to add the wintering ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) to the year list, the bird returning to the park for its 12th winter in 2014.