Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Pennington Marsh - 23rd May

On 23rd May I popped to Fishtail lagoon again to spend a couple of hours with the Stilt Sandpiper after all its not every day you have a one on your patch. The bird was showing fairly distantly again on the floods at the back of Fishtail but was in better light than yesterday but my photos are still shite but I guess an improvement on yesterday. The bird fed in the open water of the lagoon rather than amongst rushes like it did on my visit yesterday and it remained solitary not mixing with the nearby Dunlin.

Up to the end of 2014 there had been 33 records of Stilt Sandpiper in the UK with one previous record from Hampshire at Pennington Marsh from 21st July to 3rd August 2002. Most records of the species occur in July, August and September with 76% of all records being of adult birds. The species winters in South and Central America and in the spring migrates north, largely following routes along rivers in the interior of the USA to its breeding grounds in north Alaska, north Canada and around the coasts of Hudson Bay. Birds begin to arrive in their breeding grounds in late May.

Here is a cracking image of another Stilt Sandpiper that has been in the Netherlands recently, I considered whether this may be the same bird as the Pennington bird but the patterning of darker feathers in the upperparts of the two birds differs. 

Above images all of the Stilt Sandpiper on Fishtail Lagoon

Reed Warbler

Roe Deer - A young male feeding on grassland behind Fishtail Lagoon

Hurst Castle and Lighthouse

A short wander around the Old Tip and then out to Jetty Lagoon produced around 60 Swift feeding in the area and two male Garganey sleeping on Jetty Lagoon. It was time to head to the office.

That's it for my patch this May, off to Alaska until mid June now.........