Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Pulborough round-up, late October

Great to finally complete the set of British Owls on my Pulborough list recently with the addition of Short-eared Owl, seen first from behind the visitor centre on the evening of the 23rd then subsequently added to the garden list the following evening, seen over the North Brooks from my attic - then again on Sunday evening quartering up and down the banks of the Stor.

Short-eared Owl over the North Brooks on Sunday. Photo by Istvan Radi
Keeping with the (sort of) nocturnal theme, the nocmig adventures continue as I'm still working through the past week's backlog of recordings. A recent highlight was what sounded like at least two or three Brent Geese flying over not long after midnight on the 19th. There's always a few vismig records of this species in the southeast at this time of year as they 'cut the corner' from the east coast to the south coast, but still a nice one to get on nocmig and only my second record since I started recording at the end of last year.

Other highlights from the past weekend were at least three each of Marsh Harrier (including an adult male) and Red Kite on Saturday plus two Shelduck, a Little Egret and a heard only Water Rail below the Hanger. Duck numbers continue to increase with at least four hundred Wigeon and eight Pintail on Sunday. Eighteen hundred Woodpigeons flew southwest in an hour on Saturday morning, while down on the South Brooks a White-fronted Goose bearing a red leg ring was in with the Greylags - presumably not a wild bird as I believe it's been seen on and off a few times in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, on Sunday morning Paul had a Ruff with the Lapwings at Hail's View; a species that has been notable by its absence at Pulborough this autumn, especially compared to last year when we had a pretty remarkable count of 26 together on one day in late September. Presumably not a good breeding season for them, as has been the case for many shorebirds it seems.

Gary Trew had a ringtail Hen Harrier over the South Brooks yesterday and a Dunlin with the Lapwings on the North Brooks, while the Hen Harrier showed again today for Russ Tofts followed by another Short-eared Owl sighting and Woodock over the car park via Gary T.

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