Saturday, 20 March 2010

Scenes from a damp and lonely walk.

Well I honoured my part of the bargain by driving to the coast and arrived at the meeting point in good time to be greeted by a grey overcast sky, a strong westerly wind with the promise of fleeting showers moving through followed by heavier rain! While I waited I watched a few birds around the feeders outside the Information Centre.
This Great Tit decided not to take the seed through the wire but to dive straight into the hole. 
I waited and waited but as nobody appeared to join me for the SBC walk (can only presume that the weather put everyone off!) I decided that I would go it alone despite the weather conditions. (I will apologise now for the poor quality of the photos but trying to capture something while attempting to keep myself and all the gear dry was not easy.)
A few Shelduck on the Ferry Pool.
A sleeping, one legged Avocet.
The head of the estuary with the usual Redshanks calling as they feed on the muddy margins.
The harbour at low tide - looking south-east.
I heard Cetti's Warbler again today and added Reed Bunting to the list. In a month or so this area will be full of the chattering sounds of Reed and Sedge Warblers with Swifts, Swallows and Martins flying around.
I could hear the constant ringing whistle of Teal hidden amoungst the reeds and then a pair floated past just as the first rain shower commenced. The walk to Church Norton was fairly quiet apart from the song of Skylarks and a few Meadow Pipits zipped past in the wind. 
No sign of any Firecrests in the churchyard (probably moved on) but a Mistle Thrush dashed past me.
As another rain shower reduced visibility I dived into the hide and this was the view through the window. Still a lot of exposed mud with the usual mixture of waders. Today I was pleased to find a few Black-tailed Godwits with some already starting to come into their striking rufous breeding plumage. 
Leaving the hide I headed for the beach. The sea looked pretty angry so I spent very little time searching the waves. However I did eventually catch up with a pair of newly arrived Northern Wheatear as they moved up and down the shingle beach but always one step ahead of me.  
I did manage one shot of a confiding Common Ringed Plover before it was time to pack the camera away from the next damp shower.
High tide at Church Norton with a flock of waders in the air way in the distance. The return walk was made in constant rain with little to see but empty water.
High tide at the head of the estuary where my damp, lonely walk ended. I added 10 species to my list for the two visits to Pagham this week making a grand total of 64. Hopefully next time the weather will be kinder and far more migrants will have arrived.  FAB. 

12 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your walk! The varied landscape provided a lot of interest. But judging from the weather, I may have stayed home too!

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  2. It was one of those days that test the commitment of a birder Frank, but if you are a photographer as well then its really annoying.

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  3. Happy Spring, Frank. I'm just getting caught up your posts.

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  4. Just typical of our weather!
    You managed some good birds though Frank, despite the rain.
    Nice shot of the Ringed Plover.
    I've not caught up with the Wheatear yet. There's been a couple of sightings fairly locally.

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  5. Despite the weather, your photos are gorgeous! What a nice walk. ~ks

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  6. Glad you enjoyed the peace and quiet...sometimes it's just what we need.

    www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com

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  7. HI Frank,
    Despite the weather you got some nice shots and saw some nice birds. I love the one legged avocet as well as your bridge pictures!

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  8. Fair weather birders ! Well done for sticking with it frank, I enjoyed your walk, and would have turned up if I was a local :-)

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  9. Despite the weather Frank, you still succeeded in getting some lovely photos. Weather is so unpredictable. Such a shame.I'm sure you would have had a better response if it had been better.
    Take care

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  10. Well done you for going it alone.
    The weather may have been awful but your photographs have captured the scene perfectly....

    I envy you hearing the skylark....I cannot wait to hear them in the fields opposite my home.......

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  11. Nice post Frank - just goes to show how many "fair weather" birders there are out there!!

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  12. Mona. I wouldn't choose to go out in a full on storm but this was just fleeting showers and limited visibility.

    Roy. Definitely testing for the cameraman!

    Steve B. I've got behind as well. Glad to hear the overseas trip went well. Enjoy the Spring too my friend.

    Keith. I'm sure you'll catch up with a Wheatear soon.

    Karen. Thanks.

    Carol. Didn't have any option, but did meet some other wet weather birders for a brief chat.

    Chris. Keeping the bins, scope & camera from fogging uyp was fun!!

    Warren. My thoughts exactly.

    Shirleyanne. Did my best under the circumstances.

    Cheryl. It will be fun to post some pics on a sunny day soon. The Skylarks singing certainly added to the atmosphere.

    Tony C. Thanks...I'm sure you would have turned out.

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

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