Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Turtle Dove

It's always difficult when you get back from an overseas trip. You have an intensive week sorting out all the pictures and publishing the blog and then it is back to reality. There is no more finding ten life ticks a day. You just hope for the chance of a year tick or perhaps an exciting shot of a common bird and that very much sums up how it has been this past week.

My first days birding back in England doesn't look too bad on paper but seemed incredibly slow and unexciting on the day. On the 12th we did our usual circuit of Pagham Harbour. Nothing much had changed. Too much water in the Breech Pool so mostly ducks and no repair to the Ferry Pool so not enough water and very few birds.

On paper it gave me two year ticks, Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher. All very distant and no chance of a picture but I suppose I should be counting it as a good day. Picture wise it was saved by a few Dragonflys that we found just south of the pumps at Ferry Creek. They were mostly Common and Red Darters but there were also a couple of Migrant Hawkers.

Migrant Hawker

A return a few days later and at least the North Wall was showing signs of life. A good few Bar-tailed Godwits and Redshanks out on the creek along with returning Wigeon and Teal and a few distant Pintails.

Four noisy Greenshanks flew into the back of the Breech Pool and we found three Spotted Redshank amongst the Godwits at the other end of the pool

Four Greenshanks on the Breech Pool

Spotted Redshank

However, the bird we had come to see was a ridiculously confiding juvenile Turtle Dove. It had spent a few days by the Visitors Centre at Pagham completely unfazed by the people around it. Even having read reports of the birds behaviour it still came as a bit of a shock when you realised how easy it was to approach.

Either it has spent a lot of time around people that have been feeding it or it has never seen a human before and does not realise how dangerous we can be.

Lets hope it picks its migration route carefully.....

.....or those brave hunters on the island of Malta will have another easy target.

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