With a day off, that was swiftly rectified today. I really wanted to see if the Siberian chiffchaff was still around as there had been no posts on the LDBWS site referring to it for almost a week.
I wonder what it is about some scarce birds that generate such little interest from local birders?
I bet if there was a much commoner bird such as a smew on the pools or if that firecrest had proven reliable the patch would have been inundated with bino-wielding tourists. But alas, a long-distance migrant lacking in flashy plumage is clearly off-putting to many modern birdwatchers. Shame.
Anyhoo, I spent a good while rooting around and failed to locate the blighter, finding just one solitary common chiffchaff there. I'd also spent a bit of time searching for the aforementioned firecrest but again, came away somewhat disappointed.
Freeman's Pools continues to attract tufted duck with 16 there today, along with a very welcome drake pochard and the usual multiple gadwall, teal, goldeneye and little grebe.
A further 14 goldeneye were on the flooded Wildfowlers' Pools but little else was seen.
The fields to the east of the upper cinder path are absolutely awash with birds at the moment; hundreds of black-headed gulls, lapwing, redshank and starlings are feasting away on the muddy edges of the vast floods. Smaller numbers of common gull, curlew and oystercatcher plus double-figures of pied wagtail can also be seen, making for quite a spectacle.
If a rare wader's going to turn up anywhere in the next few weeks, my money's on these fields!
Given the many 1000s of black-headed gulls seen today I couldn't find a single Med gull among them.
|Spot The Greenshank|
En route I counted a measly 3 rock pipits. It would seem that the days when there would be well into double figures feeding on the tideline are well and truly behind us. It was great fun to sift through the birds trying to identify littoralis (Scandanavian) vs petrosus (British) pipits and keeping an eye out for the almost annual water pipits. Sigh.
As I waded along the path a pair of chiffchaff appeared in the rank vegetation by the track side. They were both common collybita birds. A couple of goldcrests showed well, but eluded good photography (as proven here by my fuzzy shot).
Unfortunately I found no lingering yellow-browed or Pallas's warblers...