Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Upton Warren- Migration and Lingerers

An evening visit to both sides of the reserve led to a nice little array of migrants, and lingerers.

Firstly, we dropped into the Moors Pool where a quick scan here revealed a Common Sandpiper on the East Islands, Not wanting to spend too much time here, we departed to the Flashes.

A female White Wagtail was my first of the year of this Ssp, and it shown well occasionally switching between the channel below the hide and the transmitter field.

Also very quickly located, was the flock of 6 DUNLIN which was found earlier in the day, all adults in more or less summer plumage. It took them most of the night to work there was in close to the hide, bt i gladly got some photos when they did.

The 1st winter LITTLE GULL that had been frequenting the Moors was located here, sleeping blissfully close to the hide. the only challenge then was to try and get a photo of it awake, as it spent most of its time asleap!
However, in the brief moments it awoke, stunning views were had of this jewel of a bird.

It is only when you compare a Little Gull with an LRP that you realise just how small these highly pelagnic birds are. It really is tiny!
Hard to believe these things winter out in the north sea really. The only bird they are comparable to are the 'marsh terns' (to which it has a similar feeding technique), and the bird does seem as if it would be better suited to spend its non-breeding life (They breed on marshy pools, often among terns, BHG's and Grebes!) at inland lakes and marshes than out in the harsh sea. They just seem so out of place with there small body size seemingly dwarphed by the huge waves.
However, Little Gull does have an ace up its sleave, it has disproportionatly long wings for its size, and this helps them with their pelganic lifestyle.

Over the coarse of the night, the DUNLIN flock slowly edged it's way closer, probings there way through the soft mud. Eventually, they were showing on a spit near the hide that was being frequented by the Little Gull. It was nice to have both these species together at an inland scrape.

4 birds aproached, the other 2 Dunlin seemingly content with staying on the far edge of the main island, however, with the warm evening light shining, the Dunlin's glowed, and the birds that aproached the hide gave great views!.

A nice little mix of birds there, and shows how the wet weather over April has dropped migration back a few weeks!
I think there is much more to come over the next few weeks, potentially even into june!

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