We had a trip to Eastbourne on Friday, to see the American Robin, which has been there for nearly a week. A smart bird, viewed from above rather than inflicting ourselves on the folk in the cul-de-sac. While there, we also managed to get brief views of the Hume’s Leaf Warbler, but that took too long to allow us to get the Hooded Crow on the way home.
We’ve also had a couple of walks, nothing too long, which has added a Merlin and, even better, a Jack Snipe onto the on foot list. No photos of them, alas.
In order to add a few common ducks to the walking list, we walked to Swanbourne Lake in Arundel last Sunday. Pochard, Tufted Duck and Mandarin are not birds you would normally make an effort for, but they’re not reliable locally, so this is the lowest form of twitching, hence the name.
A glorious day saw us add Siskin to the year list walking through the Dover and distant Cattle Egrets were in sight as we approached Arundel. At the lake there were loads of Tufties and a huge population of Gadwall. Mandarin put in an appearance as a female cruised across the lake with a retinue of 8 males, all looking stunning. Pochards were in short supply. A walk up the hill to the Hiorne Tower gave us a chance of Hawfinch, which unexpectedly turned up just as we were leaving. Back on the lake, still no Pochard. A circumnavigation of the WWT reserve didn’t find any in with the collection either, nor was there any sign of the Glossy Ibis that had been around a few days before. Nice views of a Cattle Egret were welcome, though.
The Walk of Humiliation next autumn – 28 miles for a Pochard – could be a major test of my commitment to the walking list.
Again, the pictures aren’t up to much as I was carrying my small camera.
After several weeks unable to edit the site and a couple of efforts with technical support (including a 2.5 hour marathon tonight), I can finally post pictures. (I seem to have lost one or two posts, but never mind.) It’s a pity I haven’t done much photography in the meantime: the year has largely been walking rather than photographic, and there hasn’t been that much of note, but here’s a few shots to be going on with…