Sunday, 8 December 2013

Spoonbill

There have been no pictures for the blog for the past week. I have been out a couple of times but have been concentrating on sea watches in an attempt to pin down a few new species before the end of the year. I have seen Auks, Skuas, Divers, and Grebes but very few where I was confident that I could identify the species and none that were close enough for a picture.

I managed to get out again this afternoon and headed over to Widewater.  However, a quick check proved that there was nothing of interest showing on the lagoon or the sea so I moved on to Tidemills to see if the Spoonbill was still around. Photographers were not flavour of the day when I arrived. There had been a couple there earlier that had been spooking the bird by trying to get too close and were in general upsetting the other birders there. Fortunately they had left and with the bird also absent most of the other people drifted away.

Good news for me as the Spoonbill then flew back in and I had it all to myself. From the colour of the bill and the dark markings on the tips of the outer primaries it is a juvenile but it also has dark legs so possibly a second calendar year bird. It also has a dirty white appearance where adult birds that I have seen are a much brighter white.


Showing the light coloured bill and wing markings of a Juvenile



It was very active, feeding all the time I was there. You could certainly get close without disturbing it but it was clear that it had a boundary. People walking too close, anything down at its eye level and the noise from the trains going through all saw it unsettled.


On alert

Feeding too much of an attraction

Happy again

A great bird to photograph

Whilst I was close to Newhaven I took the opportunity to look for Eider Ducks out in the harbour. There was one close to the eastern arm and it would have been a great shot but unfortunately it was straight into the sun.


Worth putting on the blog but not much that can be done to rescue it as a picture


 Not much else about. A few Fulmers up on the cliff. They looked as though they were pairing up already and were spending most of their time practising aerobatics against the cliff face to impress their partners.


Convenient nesting holes in the cliff face


Performing a flyby

With there being a dearth of pictures lately all birds were receiving attention and it is surprising what you miss out on if you ignore the more common birds.


Turnstone





















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