Sunday, 14 November 2010

Geese, Goldeneye and Gulls

Not the best day, it rained a lot and got steadily colder as it went on. There was some evidence of arrivals of winter birds, redwing were scattered in the trees and the siskin flock, now numbering over 200 birds included at least a few redpoll. On Ibsley Water the goosander included three drakes and there were at least 11 goldeneye, including two adult and one immature drake. Ibsley Water briefly hosted 85 black-tailed godwit and there were also 2 dunlin and 2 green sandpiper. I suspect the godwits had been flushed from the valley by shooting, which went on for much of the day, this was probably also the reason for there being 472 greylag and a single bar-headed goose.

It was a bit of a day for mammals, a party of fallow deer beside Ibsley Water included one quite fine buck. The north shore of the lake had a fox, as it often does. The least seen, if not rarest, sighting was of a stoat crossing Ellingham Drove.

Towards dusk the gulls gathered as usual and included at least 9 yellow-legged gull, 2 common gull and a 2nd winter gull that probably must have been a Caspian gull. It was the right shape, with the right plumage features, bill etc, but looked a little dark on the mantle. I think this was just because the light was fading, as all the other features looked right for Caspian and wrong for other species. It was not the bird of the same age seen by me the other day, as the bill pattern was certainly a little different. Oh, the joys of trying to identify gulls at the end of a dull day.

As it was getting really dark I was locking up the Ivy Lake hides, a Cetti's warbler was singing by the north hide and a water rail was calling. The reeds in the north-west part of the lake held a mass of chattering starling gone to roost.

A bit of late news from Friday was of a great northern diver on Ibsley Water in the morning.

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