Sunday, 20 October 2013

They are still here!!

Showery weather with a strong SW wind was the weather forecast for today. I did not fancy venturing out too far even though Hampshire had a few birds that held some interest.
(Tree Sparrow)
I arrived at Beddington Farm during a downpour and took refuge in the hide with Tank. The rain stopped and a  small group of Tree Sparrow made an appearance at the feeders. These were the first birds I had seen here for a while so I took the opportunity to take a few pictures.

There wasn’t much in the way of bird movements so Tank who was itching to go for a walk did exactly that. A Water Rail announced its presence by squealing from the margins in front of the hide. A Jack Snipe was the next bird of interest to come into view from the direction of the mound. This bird landed out of sight on one of the islands. It transpires that Tank had almost stepped on one in a channel close to the lagoons and off it flew into my view on the lake!

Tank had had two Stonechat on the mound before returning to the hide to keep watch over the lake. A hirundine appeared over the lake flying S over the hide. The bird looked brown with a brown collar. My initial identity was Sand Martin but this was late for a hirundine so I attempted to lock the camera on it but the auto focus had other ideas! Fortunately the bird returned to the lake and this time I saw the white rump and concluded this was in fact a juvenile House Martin which lacked the dark blue/black upper body associated with adults of this species.
News had reached the hide of a Wheatear in the area of the lagoons. I had not seen one this year having spent over three months in Paraguay over the spring period. Without much debate Tank and I set off to the lagoons locating the bird at the top of the splat of mud overlooking the lagoons.
Tank then scoped the lagoons noting two waders on the left hand lagoon. Looking through his scope I identified one as a Greenshank but we were not sure of the identity of the second bird the sunlight was not helping and before a decent look at the second wader could be obtained the bird flew up and dropped onto the lagoon behind. Time to go and investigate which was not in the plan but had to be done through thick mud in places!

The mystery of the second bird was soon solved a Green Sandpiper a regular feature at the farm. Back to the hide via parkside just in case a Coal Tit decided to grace me with its presence (A Beddington tick for me unbelievable!!).

On reaching the hide Derek appeared stating he had seen approximately eight Tree Sparrow on the feeders. I guess this was slightly good news as this species is low in numbers on the farm these days. Hopefully if these birds can survive the winter there is a small chance of some kind of a revival. Fingers Crossed!!