Friday, 28 November 2014

Bunny Meadows Revisited...Again - November 2014

Having been confined to the office for most of the week, it was nice to be out in the fresh air again today. I must apologise if there is a feeling of deja vu with this post, but as the tide was rising when I ventured out, I headed down to Bunny Meadows again. It was about two hours off high tide when I arrived so there was still some intertidal visible, and wading birds were starting to accumulate on and around the small islands. However, it was not a wader that first caught my eye but a tern, a Sandwich Tern. Occasionally this species does winter in Hampshire, particularly in Langstone Harbour and around Hayling Island. Time will tell whether this bird stays for the winter, or was just a late migrant.

Sandwich Tern - Bunny Meadows

With the tide pushing up I was able to get some nice views of the hundreds of birds present and continue to test out my new camera. Dunlin was by far the most numerous species with over 600 birds present, Grey Plover next with 35. Four of the Grey Plovers were colour-ringed, probably by Pete Potts, so will hopefully be able to let you know the details soon. It was interesting to note that all four of the colour-ringed birds used the same staging point, before moving onto the main roost; presumably they feel like they all have something in common.

Grey Plovers - Bunny Meadows

The other wader species present were Eurasian Curlew (5), Common Ringed Plover (3), Oystercatcher (3), Common Redshank (9) and one Red Knot

Common Redshank - Bunny Meadows

The Eurasian Wigeon has to be amongst my favourite ducks and there were just shy of 50 birds on the marsh. Disturbance levels were much lower at Bunny Meadows during this visit and the wigeon were much more chilled out. As well as the wigeon, around 30 each, Eurasian Teal and Dark-bellied Brent Geese were also present.

Eurasian Wigeon - Bunny Meadows
Eurasian Wigeon - Bunny Meadows

Several Ruddy Turnstones were doing what they do, turning stones and chattering away to each other. One of these birds was also colour-ringed, again probably a bird ringed by Pete Potts. I have recorded a colour-ringed turnstone here before, but this bird was not that bird, so once again will let you know the info when I find out.

Ruddy Turnstone - Bunny Meadows

As the tide continued to rise the Dunlin started to move around in tight flocks seeking out the last remaining patches of mud. Although there were only 600 birds it is always a pretty spectacular sight to see flocks of waders wheeling around.

Dunlin - Bunny Meadows
Dunlin - Bunny Meadows
Dunlin - Bunny Meadows

Once the waders had settled down to roost I started to head back to the car. A Great Cormorant had settled on one of the rails, using the late afternoon sun to dry its wings, and I took advantage of the the tame Black-headed Gulls to further test out my new camera.

Cormorant - Bunny Meadows
Black-headed Gull - Bunny Meadows

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...