Wednesday 7 September 2011

Wednesday 7th September 2011 - a bit of an update and the start of Autumn Passage

It has been a while since the last post, mainly due to me being very busy doing other things and also the mid summer lull where things tend to go a bit quiet. Highlights of July and August have been a drake Ferruginous Duck at Paxton, Ruddy Shellduck at Grafham Water at the start of August and a return to Grafham at the end of the month for a juvenile White Winged Black Tern. That has pretty much been it bird wise so I was looking forward to getting out today after the recent heavy rain to see how things are moving along. I decided to pop over to Pitsford Reservoir for a quick wander round and even from getting out of the car things looked good with waders along the shoreline and literally masses of Hirundines whirling around in the air. A Hobby came charging through a collection of House Martins scattering them all over the place and also spooking the Lapwings along the bank into taking flight. I scanned across the water from the feeding station picking up a Black Necked Grebe just off a spit of land seperating the Walgrave and Scaldwell Bays. This bird was still showing signs of summer plumage which was nice as this is the only resident British Grebe I was yet to see in breeding refinery so it was nice to get a look at it in this mornings sunshine. Further along the shoreline 7 Ringed Plover were busy feeding along the shoreline along with 5 Greenshank and 3 Common Sandpiper along the stretch leading up into Scaldwell Bay. The wildfowl numbers of all regular species now really increasing, with large numbers of Shovelor and Pochard in particular, also the Slavonian Grebe that has spent the latter half of summer here was still showing very well feeding in the bay - but now unfortunately it has moulted and now looks like we are more accustomed to seeing them in the winter. The hides at the end of the bay overlook the mud flats and on here 8 Green Sandpiper and 10 Ruff could be seen feeding amongst the vast flock of Lapwings. All this was seen in just an hour and a half walk, so there must be a lot more to see if a full circuit was made. I'll be off to Norfolk at the end of September so this has certainly whetted my appetite. Hopefully a sign of things to come -  let the migration begin!!.

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