Sunday, 2 March 2014

Pennington Marshes - 28th February 2014

I spent the morning at Pennington Marshes on a glorious spring like morning. There was a great deal of breeding bird activity with Lapwing displaying over the still extensive floods and the bushes alive with singing Dunnock, Wren and Robin and with the occasional burst of song from a hidden Cetti's Warbler.

Wren - Simon Colenutt
Wren (Simon Colenutt)

Just off the car park at Lower Pennington Lane and quick scan with the binoculars revealed the distinctive stumpy shape and sowing machine feeding action of the Long-billed Dowitcher that has made Pennington its home. 

Long-billed Dowitcher, Pennington Marshes - Simon Colenutt
Long-billed Dowitcher, Pennington Marsh (Simon Colenutt)

This bird first appeared as a summer plumage bird on 1st August 2013 and has been present on and off since. Now in full winter plumage this bird will likely head north in the coming weeks - will it relocate to its normal breeding grounds of east Siberia and north-west Nearctic? Or perhaps more likely establish a territory in the northern Palearctic. 

Finally, this stunning Bar-headed Goose was amongst the Canada Geese and while clearly not a wild bird it was worth a good look for its striking head pattern and novelty value. This species breeds in central Asia and China and winters in India and neighbouring countries. It is a common species in wildfowl collections in the UK.

Bar-headed Goose, Pennington Marsh (Simon Colenutt)