Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Looking For A Good Time - The Partridge Family

I for one don't see too many Partridges in the 'field' these days so it was a coincidence that Mousey the Game Keeper delivered a couple of brace of Red-legged's here this morning. From a prestigious 'shoot' in the north of the county (Dorset), owned by an Arabian Sheik, it is probably only these institutions that keep the populations going these days.
 RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE
All 4 were quickly made ready for the oven with a Madeira jus.
Something of a 'RARITY' and a 'quality' catch
BLAIR'S MOCHA*
has to be on the 'Want List' of every Moth'er the appropriate
annotation has been made!
DEEP-BROWN DART
DELICATE*
One of several variations of
BEADED CHESTNUT
DUSKY THORN
Unfortunately, a very worn specimen of
SMALL MOTTLED WILLOW*
The Mocha, Delicate and Willow, all 'migrants' combine to make what has been described as a "pretty damn good migrant night particularly so far from the Coastal Fringe"! * denotes New to the Property List which, after just one year trapping, stands at 182.
 The coincidence mentioned above came on arrival at the
 
 KEYHAVEN and PENNINGTON NATURE RESERVES
Barely out of the car a gentleman, with a telescope, the other side
of the gate got me onto a lone
GREY PARTRIDGE
well viewable through his optic but a little distant for the best of image. Lacking what is often described as an inverted, deep chestnut coloured 'horseshoe' on the belly this was likely a juvenile bird.
GREY PARTRIDGE (Wiki).
These days I rather favour this reserve as being just a 30 minutes drive from the farm and requiring a minimum amount of walking to access all areas. Not particularly a 'twitch' (the practice of racing off to see a rare bird reported earlier) but there was an 'evens' chance of happening upon an American vagrant. One problem, this bird has been reported from both Keyhaven and Pennington, adjoining reserves, with a pinpoint being
BUTT'S LAGOON
There I was re-joined by the man with the 'scope and AN Other making life a little easier "many eyes making light spotting"! First up was the most unusual sight, one which none of us had encountered before of a
WATER RAIL bathing - novel!
MEADOW PIPITs
were numerous along with good numbers of Skylark and Lapwing
and just a small trickle of Swallows.
In total we managed to spot among the Dunlin and Redshank
c3 LITTLE STINT
in company with
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT
and COMMON SNIPE
During this period we had also picked up on a medium size Wader
mostly hidden by reeds in a crouched position with head under wing.
In company with another Common Snipe it looked to be smaller and brought back memories of a similar bird at Lodmoor in 2011 which at times favoured tall vegetation. Eventually in emerged to reveal itself as the relatively long staying
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER

occasionally standing close to REDSHANK for comparison
or allowing other good views.
An image of the 2011 Lodmoor
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER
video
and short video footage of the same bird.
PS - The Partridges 'ate' a treat!
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