Sunday, 23 October 2011


Birders were still coming to see the grey phalarope on the pools in the grazing fields over the weekend. The phalarope has now been present for ten days and feeding well although it's starting to show signs of slowing down its rate of spinning on the water. On Saturday it was lucky to escape the attentions of a peregrine which stooped down on another part of the pools scattering all the other waders and wildfowl in the process.

Two jack snipe were watched on both Saturday and the Sunday on the same pools and at times providing good views in the sunshine. Richard Brown took both these photos of a jack snipe feeding along the muddy edge. At times this bird did the characteristic bobbing up and down, which was a bit of a contrast to the phalarope going round and round!

This jack snipe (next to a male teal), at times walked into the marshy vegetation where it was tricky to see. Also around the pools were 15+ common snipe which helped to confuse the situation.
Although there are good numbers of common snipe in these fields each winter, these are the first records of jack snipe here.

Amongst the 220 brent geese in the fields on Sunday afternoon were 40 juvenile brent geese and also a pale-bellied brent goose seen by Andy Field. There was the usual mix over the weekend on the pools of wigeon, teal, mallard, shoveler, greylag geese, black-tailed godwit, redshank, lapwing and little egret with a green sandpiper noted only on Saturday. Also seen nearby were 20 fieldfares, sparrowhawk and a swallow flying west on Sunday morning. At the park pond a water rail briefly fed around the base of a reedmace clump and a rock pipit at the Point where 10 sanderling were also seen on Saturday.
Andy Field noted 50 corn buntings by the Strood on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday was the warmer day of the weekend and a small white and red admiral butterfly were seen at the park.

Richard Brown passed me these two photos he managed to take of the glossy ibis that was at the park pond last Sunday 16th. The last sighting on the Island was on Tuesday 18th when two were seen flying over the pond and the grazing fields as they headed east.

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