Thursday, 20 January 2011

Worst thing about winter is having to rinse every minute out of the day and you still cant get everywhere you want. Later on I headed out to Bembridge Harbour (via the sewage works and Laundry Lane) for the juicy prospect of a Branta three-way. The colder weather had sent 3 Water Pipits back to the filter beds in search of an easier meal (what happened to the Chiffs this year - did the cold spell kill them all off before they could reach the sewage works or were there just not enough left over from autumn?). On the marsh the geese were still hanging on with 17 White-fronts and 8 Greylags. 7 of the White-fronts got flushed onto the wrong side of the river and the other 10 were circling when I picked them up, got fed up of not being able to decide where to land and flew off into the distance over Foreland. An hour and a half later they were back, in over the harbour before resuming big circles high over the marsh until I got bored of looking. Where had they been all that time - pacing the Solent??? A nice Brant + Pale-bellied Brent combo on the millpond - check. About as rare was the 62 Gadwall on the millpond - cant take a sight like that for granted, Gadwall are meant to be scarce on the Island. Still above average numbers of waders in the harbour too, including 23 Blackwits. Underwater views of a diving Dabchick at Mill Quay made me laugh, they look like terrapins or summink! On my return to LLane the White-fronts had sorted themselves out with all 17 together grazing amongst the Canadas.

White-fronts before going awol

for the novelty...

Water Pipit video-snatch

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