Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Dartford Warbler

I went looking for a Merlin today. It's one of those birds that I have never really seen and for which I have certainly never managed to get a decent record shot. There had been one reported on the west side of Medmerry and with a Dartford Warbler also reported at Park Farm it seemed worth a trip out.

Park Farm proved to be a nice walk but there was no sign of the Dartford so it was on to Medmerry. Initially it looked promising. A bird flew through, low and fast with crows in hot pursuit. It looked a good possibility, so I set off on a slightly slower pursuit. The crows turned back and the bird disappeared from sight. Then I picked up something sitting on a post. A careful approach and I had it - except that it turned out to be a Kestrel. A different bird or the one chased by the crows? I will never know.


It wasn't all bad news though, a little further along the track I found another Dartford Warbler. As is their way, it stayed mostly low in the gorse, just occasionally appearing for a few seconds out in the open. It was a case of point, shoot and hope for the best, but after about half an hour of trying I did eventually get a shot that was in focus.

There were plenty of ducks on the Stilt Pond but very little else. Distant flocks of Brents, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Goldfinches but nothing to get exited about. The weather had been threatening all day and the light was poor so I decided to head for home.

On the way back to the car a couple of unusual geese attracted my attention. Two Bar-headed Geese in with a small flock of twenty two Canada Geese. It was interesting to see that these were fully integrated into the flock. The one below being on point duty whilst the rest of the flock were feeding.

So another day of meagre returns. West Sussex still seems a bit slow when compared with the rest of the country.

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