Friday, 21 February 2014

Greenshank and Others

Today was about catching up with a few of the birds I had missed out on over the past few weeks. Top of the list was the Little Gull. There have been plenty of reports of the bird but I had failed to connect with one despite visiting all the right places. So today was a visit to Wyckham Farm at Steyning to see if I could find the birds reported there.

I had a quick look for the Siberian Chiffchaff but I am not sure I would recognise it if I saw it. There were a few suspects about but they all had too much yellow showing to be the Siberian. Still it's always good fun trying to get any of the little brown things in focus long enough to get a picture.

There were gulls on the field as reported but unfortunately they were all Black-headed. I walked on and came back about thirty minutes later to find two more promising suspects flying with the Black-headed gulls.

Little Gulls - showing black underwing and bill

The birds stayed very distant but I still managed to get a couple of record shots.

Little gull

Little Gull

Next stop was the Nore stream. The Spotted Redshank was there as usual but this time it had a Greenshank along for company.

Spotted Redshank


keeping an eye out for aerial attack

Posing for another picture

I think that Greenshanks are one of the most impressive of the waders and this bird looked in great condition. I always expect them to be a lot more flighty than the Redshanks so was really pleased to get these shots although they do not really convey the quality of the bird on the day.

Flushed with success I then headed off to East Head to see the Snow Buntings. No luck this time. There were a few birds about but the sand was really whipping across the head. It was uncomfortable for me so it must have been difficult for the small birds. The majority of the birds were hunkered down on the exposed sand spits but the Sanderling seemed oblivious to the wind and driving sand and were still running around on the waters edge.


There were also Meadow Pipits feeding on the more sheltered eastern side of the head.

Meadow Pipit

And, one final picture. The red orbital rings on this Great Black-backed Gull caught my eye. They apparently indicate a bird in full breeding plumage.

Great Black-backed Gull

Perhaps the fish head is a little treat for some prospective partner.


  1. Looks as if you had a really good day. Thought the Greenshanks were

    1. Thanks Trevor. The lighting was near perfect for the Greenshank. The only problem was that the bird was standing close in under a bank so I had to shoot down onto it rather than getting low level shots. I always have an excuse!