Friday, 22 August 2014

Common Sandpiper

The autumn migration is underway and I have been trying to plug a few of the gaps in my year list caused by missing the birds during the spring. Wednesday saw a reasonably successful trip over to Pagham Harbour. I managed to pick up Little Ringed Plover and Green Sandpiper on the Ferry Pool and a Reed Warbler on the North Wall but they were all too far away for a picture. That left me with with just a butterfly and a dragonfly to show for the day out. So much for my first day back on serious birding.

Holly Blue

Migrant Hawker

I had not managed to find a Common Sandpiper on the trip to Pagham so Friday I took a couple of hours out and went to Arlington Reservoir. With the water in the reservoir low there were a surprising number of birds there, loafing on the exposed mud. The Canada and Greylag geese along with various gulls were the most numerous but there were other interesting birds as well.

Juvenile Egyptian Goose

This juvenile Egyptian Goose had me wondering for a few seconds until the adult, displaying the more familiar dark eye patches and white wing bars, came into view.

There were at least three Common Sandpipers on the dam wall. The first was very flighty but the other two gave good views. The pale edging to the wing feathers and barring on the back suggests the second bird is a juvenile.

Common Sandpiper

Juvenile Common Sandpiper

Other birds on the wall were a Ringed Plover, a Juvenile Dunlin, and the usual juvenile Pied Wagtails.

Ringed Plover

Ringed  Plover (the other side)

Juvenile Dunlin

Pale or warm brown fringing on feathers and silvery V on scapulars
 show this as a juvenile bird

There were lots of "little brown" birds in the hedgerows but I did not have time to stop and look for anything unusual. A pity really as I still need a Lesser Whitethroat for this years list.

Finally, ever wondered what goes into your drinking water. This pipe has been exposed by the low water levels. I am sure the water must be OK by the time it gets to you but it doesn't look very healthy.

Emptying into Arlington Reservoir

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