Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Eling, Hampshire - 10th January

My birding has lacked inspiration so far this year. We spent the Christmas period in the Cotswolds and the Blue Rock Thrush at Stow-on-the-Wold was just a 30 minute drive for me but I couldn’t face birding with the hordes in a town. I just couldn’t do it no matter how much I wanted to see the bird, tales of birders with ladders peering over walls, this is not me, I could not face the numpty crowds. Then on the 9th I had a few hours to spare and headed to Pennington Marsh, I picked up my camera to shoot a nice close Little Egret and the battery was dead, it was so long since using it that I had forgotten to check the battery power – school boy error. And then the heavens opened and I got a good soaking as did my dead camera. Should I give up birding in 2017, it was all a bit depressing. That said, the birding was quite nice at Pennington with two Slavonian Grebe, a Great Northern Diver, 350 Golden Plover plus good numbers of the usual Wigeon, Pintail, Teal, Brent Geese etc. At the campsite I enjoyed great views of a flock of around 1,000 Brent Goose amongst this flock was a ringed bird which had a lime (but possibly stained white) ring on the left leg with the code RRR – I am looking into the origins of this bird but I find the European Colour-ring website terribly clunky to use and responses from scheme coordinators painfully slow.

On the 10th Januray I had a bird survey to do near to Eling on Southampton Water. A quick stop for the Cattle Egret gave good views but as I walked along the road the bird flushed and flew high in to a tree. There has been a significant influx of Cattle Egret in the UK this winter and good numbers have been recorded in Hampshire, I am convinced that this bird will ultimately be joined by other birds as has happened elsewhere. My bird survey was relatively uneventful bit I had nice views of a wintering Green Sandpiper.

With a weekend in Cornwall coming up I am hoping for a few good birds for the year – oh, and I don’t think I will be giving up birding in 2017!

Cattle Egret - Eling, Hampshire

Cattle Egret - Eling, Hampshire

Green Sandpiper - Eling, Hampshire

Redwing - Eling, Hampshire