Sunday, 27 March 2016

Thayer's gull (Larus thayeri L.), RSPB Minsmere

These are record shots, of the Thayer's gull which we were lucky enough to observe today, at RSPB Minsmere. We arrived on site in the afternoon, whilst the identity of the bird was still being discussed as possible Vega gull (Larus vagae) query Thayer's gull, by the local gull experts.

Lacking both the vocabulary and wider experience of tricky gulls, I contributed nothing to this debate, but was more than happy to stay around to hear the identity finally confirmed as Thayer's gull. In doing so we also received a masterclass in the identification of imm. Caspian gull (Larus cacchinans) - so watch this space, as I try to find my own along Southsea sea front!

For a full description of the finding of the bird:

Thursday, 17 March 2016

What a difference a day makes!

A visit to a chalk grassland site managed by West Sussex County Council Countryside Service, produced my first encounter of the year with an adder - in this case a small male who was basking in the sunshine - sheltered from the prevailing wind, on the cusp of woodland edge.

Trying to take a hasty record shot with an iPhone, I disturbed the snake and failed to get a meaningful photograph - although he is there! I returned the next day, with my camera and found him in almost exactly the same spot.

16th March - record shot

17th March - that's better

Friday, 11 March 2016

Fort Cumberland - lizards on parade

A late morning / early afternoon visit on local patches produced highlights of eight Mediterranean gull (Larus melanocephalus) on the beach at Eastney in front of the Royal Marines Museum; six common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) basking in the sunshine at Fort Cumberland Open Space - three of which are pictured above; and a black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) in the grounds of Fort Cumberland itself.

Friday, 4 March 2016

penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus L.) Titchfield Haven

Almost three months after first being reported on site, and two - possibly three? - failed visits to try and see this species, I finally caught up with the penduline tits at Titchfield Haven. Enjoying prolonged views for 20 - 30 mins as two individuals foraged on the reed mace (Typha latifolia) in front of the West Hide.
My first Lifer of 2016