Monday, 9 February 2015

Davy's On the Road Again - Manfred Mann's Earth Band

We haven't even gotten around to publishing last week-end's photographs yet let alone looking at what has happen during the one just passed. There had been some suggestion of heading to the New Forest again with the prospects of travelling even further, and if that were to come to fruition I was very much 'up for it'! The highlight of Saturday was appending another 'tick' in one of my quirky little boxes contained in the Dorset February List. The only stipulations are, whichever species of bird, it must be seen within the County Boundaries in that given month, and once recorded thus you won't hear from me again one the subject. Oh, hang on a second there's a bloke in a 'white coat' knocking on the door........
During the first week of this month I have visited the stronghold of the 'target species', Avon Causeway, no fewer than 5 times and in desperation the now infilled Hurn Gravel Pit only to 'dip' on each occasion. That was the same track taken on Saturday, leaving AC empty handed and only seeing c4 displaying Shoveler on the first pan or HGP. A second look revealed a 'head' peeking above a spoil heap and grabbing the telescope quickly confirmed that it was that of my Heart's Desire, in fact c2
EGYPTIAN GEESE
Any communications, including texts, which arrive at this Caravanhold (that's the same as a Household only in a Caravan) after 22:00 usually meet with a blank, except that evening when I was watching the film The Aviator. Save for my long time fascination with Howard Hughes, the midnight text would have been missed and likely the chance of maybe fulfilling yet another small dream. Having photographed all but 3 of the worlds recognised species of Gull (Ivory, Ross's and Relict) along with perhaps the majority of Sub-species, to have the opportunity to add yet another of the latter was one too good to give up. An immediate telephone conversation to Dave Foot firmed up the arrangements and next morning at 08:30 we met in a lay-by near Ringwood. Our destination, the small West Sussex Port of
 LITTLEHAMPTON
was little more than 90 minutes away and well within that time frame
we were enjoying a sarnie and coffee and joining forces with the half-
dozen or so other 'birders' on the Quayside.
 Within a couple of minutes the young man on the right
MICHEAL BOOKER
in company with his dad DAN (who was co-finder of our target bird
last year) approached me and said "you're The Bagsy Blog aren't you"?
Good start as we enjoyed the
 SANDERLING
 feeding from the mud below us.
video
 Maybe it's just me but this special little Wader puts me in mind of
tiny old gentlemen scurrying around for all they are worth - Good Value!
 A couple of
TURNSTONE
were also in attendance but all of these were quickly abandoned as
out 'target bird'
 KUMLIEN'S GULL
flew past at almost arms length.
 With the bright sunshine almost dead ahead of us we would have to
 to move location
 taking in the
ROYAL NATIONAL LIFEBOAT INSTITUTION HQ
 and their 
INSHORE RESCUE INFLATABLE
in passing. By the time we reached the other side of the slipway
 the Gull had reached the other side of the Harbour where it stayed for ages.
 Nil Desperandum
 a few strategically placed slices of Warburtons soon had it heading our way.
 In company with a 'first winter' 
BLACK-HEADED GULL (right)
 it made several close passes,
 occasionally taking the offered bread from the surface and also
 spending long periods on the sea.
 
Kumlien's is not a specific species of  Gull but a hybrid between
ICELAND GULL
this image taken on Radipole Car Park in 2009
and
 THAYER'S GULL
above and below.
these images of 'frist winter' birds having been taken in Seattle, USA in 2008
Harrison points out that Kumlien's Gull breeds in southern Baffin Island,
Canada and overwinters on that countries east coast shores
and from New England south to Long Island in the USA.
A final look along the Inner harbour and we were on our way.
 We must have accessed Littlehampton via an alternate route as who
could miss or overlook the 'stunning vista' that is 
ARUNDEL
(panorama © Dave Foot)
The detour from the M27 Motorway to the Walpole Park Boating Lake,
Gosport is about 20 minutes so well worth the minor effort to once again visit the
RINGED-BILL GULL
there for its 11th year.
Another visitor from across the Atlantic Ocean
and another that has proved 'great value' to me and many others.
Again the Warburtons was distributed and the bird put on a fine
Aerial Display
You're surrounded Mate
you couldn't have positioned the Black-headed Gulls
any better than this.
 
What A Beauty!
  video
Video clips are limited by size, so only short.
As c2 Brent Geese flew over the Pond, Dave was quick to spot an
Adult Winter

MEDITERRANEAN GULL
also occasionally putting on a flying display.
Also spotted by Dave, he has to earn his corn if he's out with me, our
first Butterfly of the Year a
BRIMSTONE
As we were close by, it was onward to Digden Bottom to try once again for the
Great Grey Shrike
seeing only a handful of
NEW FOREST PONIES
but NO Shrike
and is it physically possible to drive past Blashford Lakes
I Doubt It!
Just the usual fare, but the rapidly setting Sun was tinting the Lake
PINK.
GOOSANDER
the male, left, was being pursued over a great distance by a crouching
(displaying) female.
GOOSANDER
with sleeping WIGEON
GOOSANDER
male
GOOSANDER
female
she's still at it
and now its his turn.
male and female
TUFTED DUCK
both looked good in the
prevailing light as did these 2
LITTLE GREBE

Strange, I had contact with Dmitry Krasnoperov in Moscow over the weekend, when Russia were riding at No 4 in the Readers Top Ten Countries. I requested he send this Link to all his contacts and he said he would, by nightfall that country was OFF THE CHART??
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