Sunday, 10 January 2016

Siberian Conditions!!

Another year has begun and I took the opportunity to visit Beddington Farm and have a look at the Siberian Chiffchaff that Nick “Pyro” Gardiner had found in the latter part of 2015. Pete “Pinpoint” Alfrey recently recorded the call and taken some good pictures of the bird which may turn out to be the first acceptable record of tristis at the farm. This sub species may also be treated as a separate species at some point.

I met Bulldog and Derek in the hide took some counts of regular species on both lakes before making my way across mount Beddington to the storm tanks. The mud was up to Beddington standard creating a bit of a ski run on the down slope.

The tanks were fairly accessible with the lack of greenery in this area. Three Common Chiffchaff made their presence known soon after entering the area but there was no sign of the tristis. I ventured into the centre of the tanks with Bulldog and Derek and settled down for a stake out.

The Siberian Chiffchaff did not waste any time in responding to playback popping up in the trees and scrub covering one of the tanks. The bird called several times as it flitted around within five metres of our position. This bird remained alone as it moved between the small trees and bushes in the tanks.

The bird was a lot greyer than Common Chiffchaff and had a distinct plain superciliam stripe on its greyish head. The bill and legs were black and the belly and under-parts were off white in colour. The bird showed some green around the outer wing feathers.

I guess it is a waiting game now but at least I got slightly better pics than the tristis type Garry and I saw on the edge of the North lake a few years back.

The other days hi-lights were Water Pipit (5), Dartford Warbler, Tree Sparrows 3 (no rings), Wigeon 2, Shelduck, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper 4.