Saturday, 19 October 2013

Black Point Semi

A trip to Hayling Island with Paul, Ephraim and Ian B in the hope of connecting with a Semi-palmated Plover, a lifer for all 4 of us. A later start than normal due to Ian's research into the tide times. We arrived at Black Point around about 10:00 and made our way to the sandy spit near the yacht club. Here we joined another 50+ birders all scanning the Ringed Plovers and Dunlin. One bird looked quite interesting but did not quite fit the bill. After about half an hour of scanning someone called that they had the bird and sure enough there it was on a patch of seaweed with two Ringed Plovers for comparison. My not too technical observations of this bird were; slightly smaller and with a smaller bill than ringed plover and to me the plumage appeared a little "softer" than Ringed Plover. We enjoyed some decent scope views before the incoming tide and the nearby wind surfers forced it and all the other waders to fly off. Not to worry as it was soon located on the nearby shingle beach. Not such easy viewing here as it was roosting over a ridge and not easy to see. We did grab some fleeting views before all the waders got up and flew off in the direction of the yacht club. Fair play to several birders who had decent viewing positions for allowing people who had not seen the bird to view it through their scopes. It was now raining so we decided to head off in search of a Yellow-browed Warbler that had been reported near the yacht club. As we left the flock of waders returned and the Semi-palmated Plover was amongst them. No luck with the Yellow-browed so we headed off to Hayling Island Oyster Beds. On route a late Swallow flew over the road. Not a great deal at the Oyster Beds but a lone Arctic Tern was of interest. After a brief team meeting we decided to finish the day at Thursley Common in the hope of connecting with a Great-grey Shrike that regularly overwinters there. At Thursley Common we were lucky enough to connect with the Great-grey Shrike fairly quickly. We did get decent views but the light was poor and the Shrike quite mobile. Also here were a few hundred Fieldfare with a hundred or so Redwing. Near to the car park a single Crossbill flew over calling. Semipalmated Plover pic below lifted from Ian B's tweet. Thanks Ian. Dodgy Shrike pics are mine

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