Friday, 17 May 2019

In the pink

Another good find by Paul Davy on Thursday night was a Pink-footed Goose on the Mid Brooks, which was thankfully still around and showing well from West Mead hide this morning - the first site record since 2017.

Quite where this bird has come from will probably forever remain a mystery but it's unringed and wary and seems likely it's the same bird that's been at Titchfield Haven in Hampshire* recently and perhaps even the same one that was at Stoke Water Meadows in Surrey back in February.
Otherwise it was another fairly quiet day with just 5 Black-tailed Godwits and 4 Whimbrel reported by Paul at Hail's View.

* Since I wrote this I've seen that a Pink-foot was also at Lower Test Marshes late morning today, so perhaps a different bird after all.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Pulborough, 7th-14th May. Waders get moving

It's been a bit more lively on the patch in the past week thanks to some more favourable conditions, and new species for the year have started coming at a rather more seasonal rate once again.

Aside from up to three Little Ringed Plovers on the North Brooks and a lingering trio of Whimbrel near West Mead, the bulk of the wader action has been on just about the most distant area of wet mud imaginable, on the area of the Mid Brooks nearest the Arun (see map below). It's here that highlights of the past week have been up to a dozen Dunlin (on the 10th and 12th) and six Ringed Plover (on the 10th). At least one Greenshank has been doing the rounds too and there was one in this area on the 12th, while the same or another was at West Mead on the 13th. The first Wood Sandpiper of the year was a good find by Paul Davy on the 7th, first in the Hog Brook area, then later refound by Gary Trew on the North Brooks.
A single Avocet was at West Mead on the 9th and was joined by a second on the 10th. The pair have been touring the reserve since then and today were largely on the North Brooks. A Snipe flew up from the South Brooks on the morning of the 11th which is encouraging as drumming has been heard on at least a couple of occasions recently. Rather unexpected on the 12th were two Barnacle Geese on the South Brooks.

My first Yellow Wagtail of the year was a welcome sight and sound flying over West Mead on the morning of the 11th, especially as it took me until the autumn to get one here last year. Equally welcome was a very vocal Spotted Flycatcher in Black Wood this morning - my first of the year - following on from two together near Little Hanger on the 10th, found by John Russell. Anna Allum found a further two singing males/pairs on her breeding bird survey in the wooded heath area this morning. Is it me or does this species seem to have had a littlee 'comeback' in the past couple of years?

Last year the last couple of weeks of May really produced the fireworks on the wader front; here's hoping for a repeat performance this year!