Monday, 8 August 2011

A time to reflect.

After the thunderstorms and overnight rain that forced me into the garden at 1 a.m. to sort out my moth traps, much of today was quote pleasant. A wander along the cliff top looking at the butterflies seemed in order.

male Large Skipper

Once again there were good numbers of Chalkhill Blues and marbled Whites. Large Skippers were also on view. The male above sits and waits for the female to pass, when he will chase after here in a swirling flight.

A pipit wandering through the stubble caught my attention, but a quiet call soon made it clear it was a Meadow Pipit with a nest near by.

It strutted about continuously uttering the short "nesting" call note. An I moved away lest I was preventing it returning to the nest.

Nearby another Meadow Pipit, presumably the other half of the pair was carrying a prey item and returning the call. Hopefull the weather will be good enough for them to bring off this late brood.

At Hope point there were several male Linnets singing form prominent positions. The females were probalby attending to second clutches.

On the Cliff an adult Peregrine was sitting on the cliff beyond Hope Point. I walked on until I reached the Golf Club, and at this point I got a message on my phone, from Steve Ray, to say a Temmink's Stint was on Backsands Scrape. We'd discussed the possibility of one turning up there lst week when we met, but I'd rather it hadn't done so when I was so far from my car.

I walked back to the car, popped home for a quick snack and then drove, and pedalled my way to the hide. When I arrived I was informed that at one point the Stint had been close to the hide but when a heavy rain shower arrived it had moved, with a group of Green Sandpipers to a more sheltered and distant spot. The evidence of its previous proximity was there on the screen of Steve's camera! I located it a long was to my right. It seemed quite settled there and was out of range of a proper shot. I got ready for a long wait, hoping it would work it's way to the mud in front of my camera.

Another massive shower arrived an this time it move into the lee of the bank of the island in the middle of the scrape. When the rain stopped and the wind died there was quite a lot of activity in front of me.

Several Green Sandpipers came by.

Two Little Egrets danced their way past.

A couple of Common Sandpipers bobbed up and down a few times as the circled the my.

Even a Greenshank came reasonably close as it hurried through the water.

Just one Little Ringed Plover put in an appearance.

And of course I felt compelled to take even more pictures each time one of the two Wood Sandpipers skipped their way through.

But the Temminck's Stint didn't arrive. In fact it walked round the back of the island and out of sight, forcing me to change hides. It was on view from here along with a Common Sandpiper. At one point I had it in my viewfinder, at the same time as a Great Tit was showing in the brambles behind it. The picture is very poor, but probably unique in showing these two species together, and yes the Great Tit did look bigger.

The light wasn't great and in all honesty it was still too far away to get anything worth having. I'm ashamed to say that this may be true but when did that stop me!


Marc Heath said...

Some lovely shots there Tony and a good read as ever.

Phil Smith said...

Cheers Tony luck of the draw mate
wan`t sure if it was a stint or one of the other small sandpipers till we checked Steves "COLLINS"