Monday was forecast to be a reasonable day and with a few loose ends to tidy up we started off at Fareham Creek and the Eider that we had dipped on last week. I thought we had missed out again but just as I was about to drive off Dave spotted it flying in with its mallard cohort. We had to relocate to the recreation ground to get decent views. The promised sun had not materialised and it was difficult to hold the camera still in the gusting wind but we still managed to get a few decent shots.
Its a smart looking bird, it flies well and there did not appear to be any rings on its leg but it is not quite as smart when it comes to picking a mate. It seems to have taken a fancy to a female mallard and was paying her close attention with a lot of displaying and calling.
|Eider and Female Mallard|
Next stop was Farlington Marsh to look for the Short-eared Owl. We watched from the viewpoint for a while but it was no fun in the cold wind and we decided to move on. On the way out we found a number of waders being pushed up on to a small island by the incoming tide. Amongst them were half a dozen Knot. This is not a bird that I manage to see close up very often. In fact it was on a short list of only five birds that I had seen and not photographed. So another success and the list is now down to four.
|Grey Plovers with Knot in the foregound|
Onwards to Pagham Harbour. We couldn't find anything much at Church Norton. The Ferry Pool had lots of birds but other than the two Ruddy Shelduck there was nothing unusual. The Slavonian Grebe was still on the Lagoon. The pictures this time are an impovement but they should have been better.
|Catching plenty of fish|
To finish off the day we stood on the North Wall and watched one of the local peregrines feeding on an unfortunate wader as thousands of the birds she had spooked flocked and swirled in the air above her.