Tuesday 21 August 2012

Common Sandpiper

Finally nailed the Common Sandpiper that has been hanging around Jubilee Pond, and it was as friendly today as it was yesterday when I didn't have a camera. There is a God afterall. Jubilee Pond is pretty mucky really, and the area in which the Canadas have been moulting is now about two inches deep in a heady mix of feathers and poo, not the greatest for when you want to get down low, but when a bird comes this close it doesn't really matter and you just have to go for it and hope you don't succumb to HN51 further down the line.

I like close birds. I like close and still birds even better, but this little fellow was constantly on the move. At 6am this morning I was getting shutter speeds of about 1/60th of a second. Oops, bo-ooring! Anyhow I returned over my lunch break in much better light and had a much more successful time.

In other news, Nick and Steve found a streaky Acro in Cat and Dog Pond. I had to leave after about an hour and a half, but four hours later and it still hadn't given itself up. Whilst the sum of our collective snippets is adding up to Sedge Warbler, the time of year and an Aquatic Warbler on the Wirral is making us all a little nervous, especially as tape of Sedge Warbler illicited precisely nothing whereas a tape of Aquatic Warbler had it zipping out of (and straight back in to even denser) cover to see what was going on. Steve saw its head in profile briefly, I saw part of its head obscured by reeds, and then all of it in flight briefly with Tim and Dan that left us none the wiser, and Nick saw it through a bush. Later on I heard some quiet Acro chuckling which sounded most like Sedge to me, and the flight call when it did move was a very hard "tik". Aquatic Warbler in Wanstead? I'm sure crazier things have happened but I am struggling to think of them. The massively overwhelming likelihood is a Sedge Warbler, which we have had at this time of year before, and that's what it most looks and sounds like based on what we have so far. All previous Sedge Warblers on the patch have given themselves up really easily, but this one is managing to hide in a bramble and reed patch about twenty feet by twenty feet, and is easily the toughest bird I have attempted to see this year. With the exception perhaps of Roller.....

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