Saturday, 13 June 2015

Pagham Harbour - Hudsonian Whimbrel

I'd been waiting for the 'right moment' to get down to Sussex/Hants as there were potentially two lifers waiting down there (hopefully). Nothing is ever guaranteed in birding however! With soooooo many things going on, a free Saturday synched with Ian Grant having a spare seat..... I joined Ian, Martin and Judy Whalley for what would hopefully be a successful day??

Just over three hours later, (11ish) we were parked at the visitor centre, suncream deployed before yomping the 2k or so of track to the 'favoured area' for the Hudsonian Whimbrel ......



It had shown well first thing before flying into the vegetation in the middle of the harbour and we had to wait until 2.15 for the first real tickable 'show'. Lifers are lifers though, I'd always settle for simply getting a good view of the bird and Ian's scope sorted that! It had flown over the channel onto the near bank mud but well over 100m distant and with heat haze, it was always going to be record shots....

Seen here with a curlew....


Then eventually walking nearer!




This was as close as it came....


Picking up stranded crabs!


Brief flight views had revealed the lack of white rump and as you can see here, the head pattern was really striking, standing out out much clearer than the 'normal' Whimbrel also present. The bill was noticeably longer too.....

Under normal circumstances, I'd have given it all day but there were now another two lifers gettable within 50 miles!! The nearest was Greater Yellowlegs which I'd seen in the States but a UK one was a 'must'. Once the Whimbrel moved further away, it was the return walk and Titchfield next stop......

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