Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Hudsonian Whimbrel

I am not keen on Twitches but when a Mega turns up in your patch you don't really want to miss out on it. So today I picked up Dave and we headed off to Pagham Harbour in the hope of seeing the reported Hudsonian Whimbrel before the big crowds started to turn up.

We decided not to risk the Church Norton car park and instead parked up near the visitors centre and walked down the side of the harbour to the hide. You might get in the car park but if the crowds turned up you wouldn't get out.

You always have your doubts when something like this is reported but it was the genuine article and all credit to George Kinnard who found and identified it.

Apologies for my pictures, the bird was a bit distant when we got there and gradually moved further away as the tide came in.

Hudsonian Whimbrel

Paler head with more distinctive marking

The head is paler than the Eurasian Whimbrel with stronger contrast between the almost white  supercillium and the very dark head and eye stripes.

Underwing appears to be a light brown with distinct barring. The Eurasian would be a white base colour.

No white cigar shape on the back

All brown back

The key identifiers are the lack of a white rump or cigar shaped white mark on the  Hudsonian Whimbrel's back. Slight variations in size and colour are harder to spot unless it is standing alongside an Eurasian bird.

There was not much else about but on the way back to the visitors centre we stopped to photograph a pair of Great Crested Grebes that were out on the Long Pool with their two young. In the early days the chicks sit nestled on the mothers back under the protection of her feathers whilst the male collects food and feeds them.

Father brings food

Safe under their mothers protection

A great afternoons birding. The Twitch wasn't too big and it was nice to meet up with a few old faces. It would be great to go back and get some better pictures but I think that it will be a few days before it quietens down a bit.

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