Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Pugneys CP - back again for Blyths Pipit

Having not managed to get over to the pipit yesterday, which had been my original plan prior to the 'gull' turning up, I decided today to try and get the pipit on the deck. Having only seen it in flight last time I felt that I really needed a proper view to be able to appreciate the bird.
I arrived on site just after sunrise at around 9.00, to find more birders than I expected. I approached the first few and they informed me that the bird was on the deck. It took me a while to find it but once I did it showed very well in the glorious morning sunshine. It looked great but was a little too far to get any decent record shots. I was finally able to appreciate the bird for more than a brown smudge in the sky.
-Blyths Pipit
The pipit moved around a bit. I heard it call twice but it was not as vocal as last time, probably because it did not fly as much. The bird eventually made its way to the far side of the field along the edge of the grass. A couple of birders saw it there but when we all arrived it had moved back into the sedge and we had to wait a short while before the bird appeared again.
The bird did come out but only infrequently and I could not manage any photos of it. It was close and I was pretty frustrated that, given it was so close, I had not managed a good shot. The bird remained very skulky along the edge of the grass, before deciding to fly into the middle of the grass where we lost it.
A few birders decided to go at this point, but a few remained. It was difficult to look for the bird as it had dived into tall grass. None of the birders there were really looking though, satisfied with the view they had got. It was at this point that I saw a pipit come out from the grass and land in the open on the bank in front of us. Nobody else seemed to have seen it, and it had not called, leaving me with a challenge to see if this was indeed the pipit. Despite how close it was, and how open it was, I could not get a good view due to a hump in the grass before the bird. As it was I decided to throw it out there, when the others agreed that this was the Blyths Pipit chilling right out in the open in front of us.
-Blyths Pipit
I got a few decent pictures, enough to serve as record shots of it on the ground. I was really please with the view, the only thing that could have made it better was if it had come closer, but alas it did not. Either way I was thrilled, and decided to call it quits when the bird took off again after about 15 mins on the bank, when it went into a different field.
I decided to spend the rest of my time before I had to head back for the train, looking for the smew on the river but sadly it was a no show. A birder informed me that it is a morning bird before the dog walkers scare it off. There were other good birds around though too, including a troop of splendid male Goldeneyes and a Kingfisher on one of the ponds. I managed a decent species count in total, well worth the stroll round the top end of the park
In the end it was a fantastic and very enjoyable morning. I had train options at 13.00 and at 17.00 and was not sure but felt the 13.00 was probably best so went for that. Well worth the return trip for the Blyths, and if it sticks I will probably go in the new year at some point too, a really smart bird.

Species List:
Peel Avenue Business Park: Blyths Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Common Snipe, Reed Bunting, Long-Tailed Tit, Blackbird, Black-Headed Gull, Mallard, Blue Tit, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Great Tit, Mute Swan, Robin, Carrion Crow,
Pugneys CP: Blackbird, Black-Headed Gull, Mallard, Blue Tit, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Mute Swan, Robin, Carrion Crow, Gadwall, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Goosander, Dunnock, Coot, Moorhen, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Little Grebe, Kestrel, Cormorant, Song Thrush, Common Gull, Redwing, Grey Heron, Wren, Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Herring Gull, Shoveler, Canada Goose, Sparrowhawk,

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