Sat 10th Jan 2015
A days birding with Paul and Ephraim. At our pre trip group huddle we hatched the following plan; Gosport for Waldo the Ring-billed Gull, Farlington Marshes for waders and maybe Spoonbill, Southsea Castle for Purple Sandpipers and Chichester Gravel Pits for Dusky Warbler.
We made good time on our trip to Walploe Park. The weather was lousy with high winds and some rain. The high winds and the fact there was some kind of renovation works going on around the pools did not fill us with confidence. We spent the next couple of hours waiting and searching for Wally, however, he didn't come out to play. Only Common Gull, Brent Goose, Curlew, Redshank and Rock Pipit of any interest here.
Over to Farlington Marshes next, more in hope than expectation of anything decent given the weather conditions. The walk was a bit of an ordeal with the high winds nearly lifting the lighter members of our group off their feet. Viewing was difficult too, holding bins or scope steady was not easy and a heavy shower didn't help much either! We didn't see any Spoonbill but we did encounter; Dunlin, Brent Goose, Pintail, Grey Plover, Goldeneye.
Next stop Southsea Castle where we encountered a lone Purple Sandpiper. We spent 30-40 minutes admiring this confiding bird as it fed on the waters edge.
Our final site of the day was Chichester Gravel Pits. Here we were hoping to connect with a reported Dusky Warbler. On arrival we joined a group of birders who though they had located the Dusky Warbler. Some fleeting glimpses of an LBJ but no decent views for any i.d. Best guesses seemed to favour a Cetti's Warbler. We had a bit of a wander and hung around until dark but no luck with the Dusky. A Kingfisher and Red-crested Pochard were of some interest here. Just before posting this some posts on Twitter seem to indicate the Dusky was a Cetti's all along! I knew we should have gone for the Lesser Yellowlegs!
A few Purple Sandpiper pics below.