Godalming area birds

Godalming area birds


Sunday, 3 September 2017

29th August - 3rd September

Another week with limited time on the patch, though a post-work trip on Friday really proved to be a good decision, as I found 2 Whinchats on the fences at Slade's Farm. This species is weirdly scarce here, and these birds were only my second on patch, the last coming on 3rd September 2015.
Hobbies, Ridge, 2/9/2017

This put me in a mood of anticipation ahead of the weekend, and with clear skies and a light north-westerly I was on the Ridge at dawn on Saturday in hope of a decent vis-mig session. It didn't work out that way, alas, though a single Tree Pipit south-east at 06:58 made the early start worthwhile. It seemed the weather was almost too good, with many hirundines clearly passing very high overhead.

The rest of the day was quiet, with passerine numbers remaining low. A few Alba Wagtails going over was of note (perhaps some were White?), and 2 Spotted Flycatchers at Phillimore Cottage may be the last of the year. Today was also uneventful, bar a few pushes of hirundines. The rain in the afternoon may have dropped some bits down (a Pied Flycatcher turned up at Canons Farm not long after the wet stuff arrived), but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if I've anything of note here.

My afternoon today instead was spent at Cuckmere Haven, in East Sussex, where I connected with a very neat and tidy juvenile Baird's Sandpiper. This American wader showed pretty well on the muddy shore of the Cuckmere River, allowing a good study of its plumage, which really stood out as a 'three-piece'. The face and breast were very buff, more so than on a juvenile Dunlin, and the scaly back and clean white underparts contrasted well with this.
Juvenile Baird's Sandpiper, Cuckmere Haven, 3/9/2017

The pale spot just aboves the lores could be seen, though I wa susprised at the extent of the supercilium on this particular individual. It wasn't bothered by regular canoes going past, and a fair sized crowed was present. Also here was a Whinchat, a few Yellow Wagtails, 4 Little Egrets and a Wheatear.