DECEMBER 31 - 2014
got myself a stinking cold and a
developing chest infection over the Xmas
period, I am relying more and more on
Malcolm Phillips to cover to local
wildlife news and he is doing it very well
indeed. Thanks Malcolm. He got round the
meadow today and saw lots of Blackbirds,
Great Tits and Robins also got one
also saw the regular Kingfisher on
the table in Peter Pond and again down by
the old Fosters yard on a rope.
Kingfishers are really so common this
winter. Have they had a particularly good
breeding season, I wonder?
beat me to see the first Snowdrops of the
winter on the grass verge along Lumley Road. We should
be getting some on Brook Meadow too, if they can fight
their way through the jungle of vegetation.
Milinets-Raby popped down to the Langstone Mill Pond
this afternoon (2pm to 3:25pm - low tide). The
As reported by Ralph Hollins, the female Wigeon had
been joined by a male Wigeon on the Langstone Mill
Pond. However, this bird was very wary and soon flew
off, but stayed long enough for a nice photo.
Also on the partially
frozen pond was a Water Rail walking about on the ice
and 2 Teal and 5 roosting Grey Herons. The frozen
horse paddock held just 18 Moorhen.
Off Pook Lane: 2 Greenshank (G//R+BRtag//-), 256 Knot,
61 Shelduck, 1 adult winter Med Gull, 363+ Dunlin, 56
Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Grey Plover, 2 Golden Plover, 10
Red Breasted Merganser, 4 male and 3 Pintail, 450+
Brent Geese flying around occasionally over the
Wootton apologises that this is not
Emsworth news, but Hilary and he walked in
West Dean Woods today and saw 5 Red kites
in one viewing. That's good news.
carried on to Iping Common to find the
reported Great Grey Shrike. This
handsome bird is a very scarce winter
visitor to this country. It breeds in
northern Scandinavia but often returns to
favoured spots. Is Iping Common one of
those I wonder?
DECEMBER 30 - 2014
snapped this fine Jay on the
Phillips sent me a few photos from his morning walk
through Brook Meadow and down to Slipper Millpond.
mystery bird. Guess what?
Down at Dolphin Quay
Malcolm got another great shot of a female
Kingfisher sitting on the wall at the bottom of
the garden at the Raglan pub. This is very likely to
be the same bird that is often seen on the table at
the north of Peter Pond.
Walking round Slipper
Millpond Malcolm captured a Lapwing in the
shallow water showing off its fine head plumes.
DECEMBER 29 - 2014
The cold snap
has brought the birds into my Emsworth town garden in
good numbers seeking food. I have recorded a total of
16 species which is exceptional for our small urban
garden. It was good to see the Starlings return
after a very long absence, though I often see them
flying over in small flocks. They like the fat balls.
Greenfinch numbers are also building up with a
maximum of 7 on the sunflower hearts, though that is
way down on what they used to be in their heyday in
the first half of the 2000s when I up to 50 at a time.
The male and female Great Spotted Woodpeckers
are still daily visitors, mainly to the fat balls, but
the male has discovered the delights of sunflower
Another bird that has fallen away over the past 10
years is Song Thrush, so it was particularly
pleasing to see one back in the garden today for the
first time since May this year. However, as always, it
was swiftly chased away by the dominant male
Blackcaps seem to have arrived from the continent.
I had a female in the garden yesterday and Tony
Wootton had a male in his garden on Christmas Day
apparently feeding on the flowering mahonia. Maybe it
was looking for insects or taking nectar even? These
Blackcaps are not the same population as the summer
migrants that migrate here from the Mediterranean, but
are winter migrants from the continent.
There was a
small flock of 6 Tufted Ducks on the town
millpond when I walked round there this morning, 5 of
which were males. This is the largest number so far
this winter, though if this cold weather stays I
reckon numbers could swell to 30 or more.
Also of interest were
two Common Gulls standing on the ice in the
south part of the pond. One was an adult and the other
was clearly a young 1st winter bird.
Phillips went round the meadow early today and saw a
Water Rail right up in the north east corner
and watched as it made its way back towards the north
bridge. This is presumably the same bird that we have
frequently seen near the S-bend in the river.
Malcolm also got
another photo of what could be the Siberian Chiffchaff
that we have been seeing on Brook Meadow since Dec 11.
This one was taken by the S-bend. However, in view of
the bird's rather bown plumage and the small tuft of
yellow feathers on the wing, my guess is that it is
more likely to be a regular Chiffchaff. The
Siberian Chiffchaff has a much greyer and colder
looking plumage than this. For comparison with the
Siberian bird go to . . . Siberian
Finally Malcolm got
this sweet shot of a Dunnock huddled up against
the bitingly cold winter wind.
received while I was away enjoying Christmas
festivities with the family.
to Warblington - December 26
Milinets-Raby walked from Emsworth to Warblington on
Boxing Day morning. Starting in Emsworth at the crack
of dawn. Temperature -1.1C and the Emsworth Mill Pond
was 3/4 frozen over!!! - very grey morning after a
very vivid red dawn.
Off the Emsworth Mill Pond Wall (from 8:07am):
Kingfisher on the jetty overlooking the channel, 8
Turnstone, 15 Lapwing, 20 Coot in the stream by the
town, 30+ Redshank, 11 Grey Plover, 5 Teal, 6 Gadwall,
2 Great Black-backed Gull, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 253
Dunlin, 343 Brent Geese, 3 Greenshank (2 with colour
rings - RG//-+BYtag//- and G//R+WYtag//-), 12
Shelduck, 5 Red Breasted Merganser, 3 Little Grebe, 19
Knot, 1 Ringed Plover.
Mill Pond Outflow (from 8:42am): 8 Knot on the rough
shingle area (very hard to see), 3 Teal, 3 Grey
Plover, 73 Dunlin, 2 Shelduck.
Off Beacon Square (from 8:51am): 18 Brent Geese, 4
Teal, 4 Shelduck, 3 Little Grebe, 2 Grey Plover, 115
Dunlin, 17 Wigeon, 1 male Pintail.
Nore Barn (from 9:05am): Totty the Cocker Spaniel ran
down the stream and out onto the mud flats (almost
reaching the salt marsh over 150 metres away!!).
Everything flushed, so I was lucky to get the totals I
did! 107 Teal, 85 Brent Geese, 15 Shelduck, 87 Wigeon,
5 Pintail (3 males), 89 Black-tailed Godwit (one with
colour rings - ROL//-+RLR//-), 2 Greenshank (flushed
by Totty), 1 Spotted Redshank (not seen in the stream
- flushed by Totty), 22 Dunlin, 2 Gadwall.
Castle Farm Fields (from 9:32am): 176 Brent Geese, 60
Conigar Point (from 9:40am) 121 Dunlin, 5 Grey Plover,
1 Greenshank (no rings), 2 Teal, 4 Black-tailed
Pook Lane (from 9:55am to 10:57am): 13 Grey Plover, 17
Wigeon, 425 Dunlin, 57 Shelduck, 16 Lapwing, 81 Golden
Plover, 14 Knot, 1 winter plumaged Curlew Sandpiper, 6
Brent Geese, 1 Greenshank, 10 Red Breasted Merganser,
18 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Teal, Buzzard sat on old
shore - December 24
Milinets-Raby was up early to have a quick visit to
the Warblington shore on Christmas Eve from 8:25am to
10:10am - tide sort of coming in. Highlights:
9 Little Egrets in the fields by Castle Farm. Green
Woodpecker in cemetery.
Off Pook Lane: 60+ Bar-tailed Godwit in flight heading
east towards Emsworth, 35 Shelduck, 493 Brent Geese on
the mud, 2 Knot, 6 Wigeon, Male Pintail, 12 Red
Breasted Merganser, 560+ Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 6 Grey
Plover, 210+ Golden Plover in flight over channel, 63
Lapwing, 1 winter plumaged Curlew Sandpiper for about
Green Sandpiper heard calling heading west to
Langstone Mill Pond, then later at the Ibis Field, 2
Green Sandpipers flew off from the Cress Beds and
headed very high north. About 5 minutes later a third
bird (probably the one heard earlier) flew west and
landed in the Cress Bed area. 75 Collared Dove on
wires over the Ibis Fields. 1 Brambling flew over west
calling several times and lost going over the trees
towards Langstone Mill Pond.
At dusk on Sat
27 Dec, Martin Hampton and his brother saw a flock of
8-10 Bullfinches in a coppice to the south of the main
Stansted avenue. Seeing one or two Bullfinches is not
unusual, but a flock of that size is certainly very
DECEMBER 23 - 2014
Phillips had a good morning on the meadow during which
he got some good views of the Siberian Chiffchaff in
Palmer's Road Copse. Malcolm's excellent photo shows
well the main distinguishing features of the bird;
grey-brown on crown, nape and mantle (no trace of
green) and light rusty-buff on the supercilium,
ear-coverts and neck and breast sides (no trace of
yellow). Bill and legs are always black on this bird.
For good measure,
Malcolm also got photos of Great Spotted Woodpecker,
Great Tit and this smashing little Blue Tit looking
very intently at some dead vegetation.
MONDAY DECEMBER 22 - 2014
I went over to
the meadow again this morning to look for the Siberian
Chiffchaff. I met Malcolm Phillips and we both looked
for the bird but there was no sign of it anywhere, or
any other type of Chiffchaff if it comes to that,
despite my playing the song recording several times.
Maybe, it is getting used to it?
We did however see lots and lots of Goldfinches mostly
feeding in the tall Alder trees by the river. They
sometimes came down low to distract us from our main
Malcolm stayed on a
while after I left and saw the Water Rail again by the
S-bend along with a Little Egret. Malcolm also spotted
this Magpie tearing at a dead piece of reed, for what
purpose I cannot imagine.
Annalls had a 3 hour trek around Farlington Marshes
reserve yesterday and saw lots of lovely birds,
including this cracking female/juvenile Kestrel which
flew out of one small tree and straight into another
one right next to her. It stayed on this a tiny branch
in a strong wind for about 5 minutes or so whilst
Charlie carried on snapping away - total of about 50
photos! Here is one I liked which shows well the brown
upperparts and head with dark barring, brown barred
tail and black wing tips characteristic of a female or
juvenile, the two are very similar.
DECEMBER 21 - 2014
A cold and
bleak midwinter's day indeed. I went over to Brook
Meadow late morning and met Malcolm Phillips on the
main river path, looking very cold. He really does not
wear enough clothes! Malcolm had not seen the Siberian
Chiffchaff, but a couple of visiting birders, one with
an enormous lens on his camera, said they had seen it
earlier. We went down to the south meadow and I played
my song recording several times with no effect.
I went back home for
lunch, but Malcolm stayed on and was rewarded with
good views of what I assume is the Siberian Chiffchaff
along the river bank in Palmer's Road Copse. That is
the small woodland adjacent to Palmer's Road Car Park.
Grid Ref: SU 751 058. It is quite close to the south
meadow where the bird has frequently been seen.
Malcolm also saw the
Water Rail in the cleared area south of the
DECEMBER 20 - 2014
I went over to
Brook Meadow at about 12 noon today armed with a
freshly recorded Siberian Chiffchaff song on my
digital recorder. I headed for the south meadow where
I played the recording at first with no obvious
effect. It was not until Barry Collins and a couple of
other birdwatchers turned up that the Chiffchaff made
an appearance, seemingly coming across the bramble
hedge from the garden of Gooseberry Cottage. The bird
came really close to where we were all standing,
fluttering its wings in apparent display. This was
exactly the same behaviour that Peter Milinets-Raby
and I witnessed on Dec 17 when Peter played the song
on his phone. We could not have hoped for a better
view of what I assume was the Siberian Chiffchaff.
Fortunately, Malcolm Phillips turned up in time to
capture some images of the bird, though that was not
easy with the bird against the sky for most of the
Barry reminded me that
he and I had seen two Siberian Chiffchaffs many years
ago at the Thornham Lane sewage works. I had forgotten
this. Barry dug out the information from his files
that two were there from 16th Jan to 1st Feb 2001 and
one still there on 1st and 2nd March 2001.
Interestingly, as I
was playing the recording of the Siberian Chiffchaff a
Robin also appeared to have responded to the song,
coming close to where we were standing, with a song of
its own plus a bit of wing quivering. Presumably the
Robin interpreted the recording as indicating the
presence of another Robin in the vicinity, the two
songs being not entirely dissimilar. I must admit this
alerted me to the possibility that the bird responding
initially to the recording might have been a common
Chiffchaff rather than a Siberian Chiffchaff. Hmm.
Malcolm had actually
been on the meadow for a couple of hours before I met
up with him and had got a photo of a common
Chiffchaff with what looks like a metal ring on
its right leg, but the definition on the photo does
not allow one to read any lettering that could
identify the bird. This photo was taken near the
S-bend in the river, which is about 100 metres north
of where we had the Siberian Chiffchaff. The bird
identified as a Siberian Chiffchaff does not have a
ring. Nor does it have the yellow tinge to its
plumage, which is indicative of a common Chiffchaff.
Malcolm also snapped
these rather fine looking Brown Trout in the
thinks the site has now been handed over to the Havant
Borough Council and new 'deep water' signs have
appeared around the pond, which would indicate a
change of stewardship. This morning Chris got a few
shots of Roe Deer in the plantation. Here is one of
them peering through a tree plantation.
that he found the mystery feather (see blog for Dec
18) near the corpse of a bird in Chichester. Chris
revisited the spot today and luckily found the carcass
hadn't been removed. He says the feather is clearly
from this bird and, that which he thought at first was
a cord, is in fact an intestine. Chris's thought it
could have been a young Starling and, assuming the
size is right, I would agree with him. Does anyone
else have any ideas?
Pete Potts (our local
bird ringer) replied to say he thought the corpse
looked like a wader, possibly Grey Plover, but it was
difficult to tell. This could have been a bird brought
in from the harbour by one of the local
However, Pete is sure Chris's mystery feather is from
a Golden Plover, hence the yellow colouring.
summaries the recent local butterfly sightings. Red
Admiral has made 14 appearances between Dec 6 and 16
at sites ranging from Portland in the west to East
Dean near Eastbourne and from Emsworth in the south to
Overton near Basingstoke in the north. The other
species is Peacock with just two sightings, both in
East Sussex and Dec 13 and 16. A photo of a Small
Tortoiseshell appeared on the Sussex website but it
was inside a house, clearly disturbed from
Ralph's report reminded me that a Red Admiral
was fluttering around in our garden in central
Emsworth yesterday. That's the first I have seen for
some while. The sun was out.
sent me the following shot he got of a flight of
Curlew at Titchfield Haven today.
DECEMBER 19 - 2014
I walked over
to Brook Meadow this morning where I met Mike from
Portchester who was looking for the Siberian
Chiffchaff on the south meadow. Mike told me he had
just spoken to a visiting birder who was leaving; he
said he had seen two Chiffchaffs on the south meadow,
one of which was the Siberian. Mike and I were on the
meadow for about an hour, but did not see Chiffchaffs
of any form. I would appreciate receiving any
sightings of this bird. Not an easy one by any means,
but the tape lure seems to be the best way to confirm
Peter Milinets-Raby provided the following information
on how to get the app. for a phone. Go to Google Play
Store on your phone and search for Bird Sounds
Groeneveld. The app symbol is a white Ibis/Crane. Once
downloaded you can search all the bird songs and calls
whilst online, then save the ones you like to your
phone to keep.
Ralph Hollins did a quick check on other reports of
Siberian Chiffchaff in Hampshire this winter, but only
found one definite report of one being caught and
ringed at the Fishlake Meadows near Romsey on Oct 28
and 29 with a possible sighting at Titchfield Haven on
Nov 15. Over the border in West Sussex two were
reported at Steyning sewage works on Dec 16 and there
were reports from Dorset of one at Portland on Nov 27,
in Poole Harbour on Dec 2 and in the Winspit Valley on
Ralph provided the following useful link to recordings
of Siberian Chiffchaffs at . . .
blog entry I included a photo by Tony Wootton of a
Green Woodpecker in a fruit tree. This prompted Tony
to ask if they do in fact eat fruit. The generally
accepted view is that they only eat ants. But are ants
available all the year round I wonder? Ralph Hollins
thinks Green Woodpeckers in fact take a greater
variety of foods than just ants. Wikipedia states that
insects and small reptiles are also taken occasionally
goes further and says their food is .."Mainly ants but
also wood-boring insects and their larvae, also
beetles, moths and flies. Will also eat fruit and
seeds." Another source down grades ants, saying their
food is .. "Mainly the larvae of insects, which live
under bark. Also ants, berries and other plants".
Ralph concludes, "So my answer to Tony's question
would be that when a Green Woodpecker is hungry it
will eat anything that does not require teeth to chew
it (ruling out apples but ruling in anything which can
be swallowed whole from a Newt to a Butterfly or a
at Langstone Mill Pond
sent me the following photo he took of a fox stalking
the birds on the flooded field to the east of
Langstone Mill Pond.
That reminded me of
the occasion when I witnessed a fox take a Little
Egret in this same field on 28th April 2008. Quite a
dramatic catch. Maybe, it was the same animal that
Mike saw today?
that 2014 has been a very productive breeding season
for many common birds. This year's preliminary results
show that species such as Long-tailed Tit, Song
Thrush, Blackcap and Goldfinch all appear to have had
good breeding seasons, and Blackbird displayed the
highest productivity on record. See . . .
Robins have also had a good year, including the
extraordinary 'Santa Robin'. This leucistic Robin with
a Santa-type beard has now survived at least three
winters in Derbyshire, making it older than the
average Robin which only lives for two years.
See . . . http://bto-enews.org/NXK-32I2I-3UEDCR-1EPVJ0-0/c.aspx
DECEMBER 18 - 2014
Meadow work session
I went over to the meadow at 10am for the regular
conservation work session. Well attended by 15 people,
Maurice Lillie outlined the main tasks for the day.
Following the work carried out by Environment Agency
on felling the trees over the river, the task was now
to move the pile of logs across to the east side of
the meadow where they will be less vulnerable to being
thrown in the river.
Colin and I fitted the
new carbonate window in the south signcase which now
looks very smart. Finally, at 11am we all convened at
the new tool store HQ at 11.00 for seasonal
refreshments of mulled wine, mince pies and stollen,
provided by Maurice Lillie. Excellent fare!
For the full report
and more photos go to . . . http://www.brook-meadow.hampshire.org.uk/bm-diary-2014b.html
first photo of the Siberian Chiffchaff on Brook Meadow
on Dec 11th
While I was on
the meadow this morning, I met a local birder in the
south meadow named Malcolm Greenwood who had come to
look for the Siberian Chiffchaff. He told me he had
only recently moved into the area and had made friends
with Dick Senior, another local birder. We both saw a
Chiffchaff of some sort flitting around in the trees,
but against the sky it was impossible to determine if
it was the Siberian. A tape lure is certainly the best
solution. This afternoon, I printed off a couple of
Malcolm's photos of the Siberian Chiffchaff and put
them in the Lumley and south gate signcases.
South meadow - Grid
Ref: SU751059 - To reach Brook Meadow's south
meadow you can park in Palmer's Road Car Park behind
Tesco's Express. Take the path from the south eastern
corner of the car park. Walk over the bridge and enter
the Brook Meadow nature reserve on your left. The most
recent sightings of the Siberian Chiffchaff were from
the large Crack Willows along the path going north.
Other sightings have been made further north near the
river. Climb the steps and walk along the path beside
Fresh from the
excitement of the Siberian Chiffchaff on Brook Meadow,
Peter Milinets-Raby had a quick visit to the
Warblington shore walking passed Langstone Mill Pond
(12:45pm to 1:40pm - very low tide). Dull windy day,
with very little around. the highlights being:
Langstone Mill Pond: 1 Wigeon, 3 roosting Grey
Flooded horse paddock: 91 Teal, 15 Moorhen, 4 Grey
Heron, 2 Pied Wagtail.
Off Pook Lane: 8 Canada Geese (flew off towards
Langstone Harbour), 88 Lapwing, 2 Greenshank, Golden
Plover 40, 282 Dunlin, 2 Knot, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 39
Shelduck, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Grey Plover, 11
Red Breasted Merganser, 1 adult winter Mediterranean
Gull. No Brent. All probably on the
notes that the blog has had some intriguing puzzles
just lately. His contribution is this feather, which
he did not find on the farm, though does not say
where. Not knowing its size my first impression seeing
that bright yellow was Goldfinch. Another possibility
for a larger feather might be Green Woodpecker. Does
anyone else have any idea what it might be from?
DECEMBER 17 - 2014
I got to Nore
Barn by about 10.30am about 3 hours after high water.
The Godwits were already in place feeding on the
mudflats, mostly at the end of Warblington Road. I
counted 81 Black-tailed Godwits including two
ROL+RLR - There is no mistaking this
Kent-ringed godwit with three colourful rings on each
leg. It is a regular in the area, the 10th sighting
R+LG - This recently ringed Farlington godwit
has been seen four times this winter, once in Emsworth
and twice at Warblington.
Black-tailed Godwits were feeding in the low water
stream, which is the most I have seen there this
winter. There was no sign of Spotted Redshank or
Greenshank. Other birds in the Nore Barn area included
Mute Swans, Brent Geese, Wigeon, Teal and one Grey
Plover. The two pairs of Gadwall that I first saw here
on Dec 15 were also present, but no sign of the
The western mudflats were dominated by Brent
Geese, estimated at, at least, 500. What was
noteworthy was the number of families along the edge
of the shore, many with 4, 5 and even 6 juveniles. The
Brents have clearly had a good breeding season, with a
ratio of around 15% juveniles to adults. Here is one
family with 6 juveniles.
another 22 Gadwall in the main channel in the
eastern harbour. Gadwall are fairly common winter
visitors. 18 Black-tailed Godwits were on the town
shore, but no colour-rings. The regular juvenile
Black-tailed Godwits were on the edge of the town
channel near the quay along with a few Dunlin. More
unusual were three Little Egrets feeding
together immediately beneath the quay from where this
photo was taken.
The Mute Swan
family with two cygnets from the Slipper Millpond
nest was on the shore at the bottom of South Street
with the 'Polish' mother showing her pink legs and
and Peter looking for the Siberian Chiffchaff on the
south meadow of Brook Meadow
I met up with
Peter Milinets-Raby and Malcolm Phillips on Brook
Meadow at 1.15pm to look for the unusually grey
Chiffchaff that Malcolm photographed on Dec 11, Dec 15
and Dec 16 which Peter thought could be a Siberian
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita
tristis). We started off on the main river
path near the S-bend in the river. However, despite a
fairly thorough search of the area using Peter's
special tristis song and call on his S4 mini
mobile phone we found no sign of the bird or any other
We were on the verge of giving up, when walking back
through the south meadow, Peter decided to try the
song again. Hey presto, along came what Peter was
fairly sure was the Siberian Chiffchaff from its very
cold grey plumage. It was clearly attracted by the
song on the phone and flittered around in the trees
above our heads, constantly flicking its wings in
apparent display. Then, to our surprise another two
Chiffchaffs appeared, all actively moving around in
the trees, but Peter was fairly sure these were common
Chiffchaffs from their browner plumage. South meadow
Grid Ref: SU 751 059
We watched the birds
for about 20 minutes as they constantly moved through
the trees and got fairly adept at picking out the
Siberian one. Malcolm took some photos which came out
reasonably well despite the overcast conditions. Even
though we did not hear any call or song, Peter left
saying he was 98% confident that this was a Siberian
Chiffchaff and and has placed one of Malcolm's photos
on the 'Going Birding' web site. http://www.goingbirding.co.uk/hants/show_photo.asp?photo_id=5304
is Malcolm's best shot of the Siberian Chiffchaff from
For more of Malcolm's
photos of this bird see entries below for Dec 16, Dec
13 and Dec 11.
seeing the Siberian Chiffchaff I met Pam Phillips who
told me she had seen and heard a Rose-ringed Parakeet
in the open grassland area at the northern end of
Westbourne Avenue. This could be the same bird that
Susan Kelly saw in Westbourne on Sunday Nov 30.
Rose-ringed Parakeets are fairly common birds in the
London area and in Surrey and Kent where they are
often found in flocks, numbering hundreds at a roost
site, which can be very noisy. There are very few
sightings of this attractive parrot in the south, but
maybe they are coming down here?
saw a Green Woodpecker in his neighbour's fruit tree
this morning and wonders if they eat fruit.
Personally, I have not heard of them doing this. Does
anyone else have any idea about this?
DECEMBER 16 - 2014
are Chiffchaffs taken on December 15th
Phillips has been on the meadow over the past few days
in search of the very grey Chiffchaff that he
photographed on Dec 11 and that Peter Milinets-Raby
thinks could be a Siberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus
Yesterday, Malcolm got a couple of photos of a
Chiffchaff, near the S-bend in the river where the
Water Rail hangs out, both of which shows a bird with
similar cold grey plumage to the earlier one.
On today's visit
Malcolm again got a couple of photos of what was
probably the same bird as yesterday, but a bit further
upstream by the old gasholder. I have passed all these
onto Peter to see what he makes of them.
are Chiffchaffs taken on December 15th
comments: The 15th December bird is almost
certainly the same individual, so like a possible
Siberian Chiffchaff - based on those papers -
interesting ID points are, more prominent supercilium,
more prominent black alula, fine off-white wing bar
along the edge of the scapulars and whitish panel in
the closed wing.
The 16th December bird is more like a normal
Chiffchaff with greenish tinges to the wings, olive
colours in the mantle, though after reading those
articles, it still could just be a trick of the light,
BUT the 16th December bird does not have a indistinct
I have an hour gap tomorrow between 12:15pm to 1:15pm.
I will try and pay the area a visit with some audio
the sun came out Malcolm went down Thorney for a walk
and got this delightful photo of a Fox peering at him
through the long grass.
earlier observations go to . . December