A return to Thorney Island today, for the Pallid Harrier that has been hanging around for a while. Of course we arrived just after it had left, so we had a lengthy wait, but eventually it returned and showed nicely if distantly. This picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s a beautifully marked bird.
The local birding seems to have fallen into a Groundhog Day of Spotted Flycatchers, Wheatears, Whinchats and Redstarts, along with my customary failure to see the Tree Pipits and Crossbills that other local birders see regularly. This week we actually got into the car to go birding, after work on Wednesday to find some Dotterels at Ditchling Beacon, poor pictures in dreadful light, alas, and on Saturday over to Pagham Harbour, to see a Red-backed Shrike and on to Thorney Island to catch up with Osprey. Today returned to type on Cissbury Ring, with the only variation being a lack of Whinchat and our first Sedge Warbler of the autumn.
A 12 mile walk yesterday over the Downs had no rarities, but a remarkable number of more common migrants, including 26 Redstarts, 20 Spotted Flycatchers, 10 Wheatears a few Yellow Wagtails and 28 Whinchats. A flock of over 30 Corn Buntings enjoying an evening drink was an indication that autumn is upon us. We had a really weird looking Chiffchaff, which looked even weirder in real life than it does in the photo. It’s been a quiet bank holiday at home, with only a few migrants, but the Reed Warbler inspecting the pond was a real treat, only our second ever in the garden.