Monday, 18 May 2015

Greater Yellowlegs

I have had a couple of trips down to Titchfield Haven looking for the Greater Yellowlegs. They were both dips. The first, I think, was a false alarm triggered by a Greenshank and for the second visit, the bird, whatever it was had just melted away into the reeds.

With further sightings being posted yesterday and this morning I thought I would give it another go. The weather was poor with strong winds and steady rain so I thought there would be a good chance of it staying in place until I could get there.

I had a good feeling this time although my confidence dropped a bit when I saw a lot of people walking back along the track to the road. Fortunately the news was good - still showing well from the Spurgin hide.

Black-tailed Godwit and Greater Yellowlegs

The Yellowlegs was feeding with a small flock of Godwits. It was much closer than I had expected but was behind some reeds for most of the time that I watched it. It was a case of focus on the bird, then wait for it to face the right way, take its head out of the water and, if you were lucky, have the reeds blow out of the way at the same time. It's a technique guaranteed to give you a lot of failures but if you take enough pictures there will be a reasonable one in amongst them somewhere.

 I had great hopes of the bird coming over in front of the hide but every time it moved towards us it was chased back behind the reeds by one of the Gulls. Interesting that it only did this to the Yellowlegs and left the Godwits that it was feeding with alone.

I had expected to see a more pronounced upturned bill

I watched it for about an hour, then something flushed all the birds on the scrape. The Godwits took off, wheeled once over the scrap and then headed off north, possibly going back to the Posbrook Flood. 

I would have liked longer with the bird and also the chance to get some better pictures but, with it having flown off, I could at least head for home without worrying about what I was missing.

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