Sunday, 6 March 2011

Sunday Scandinavians

Stella thought we were all staring at her so generously gave good views right between the Eagle and our lenses

Ian and I started early at Canons this morning, in the hope of Waxwings, but very little was seen. At 9.00am, as roughly planned, we decided to head to Old Basing for a bird that I had dipped three times previously. Almost as soon as we pulled up outside Poors Farm we were onto the juvenile White-tailed Eagle, I thought I was dreaming at first, after missing it so many times, especially when it took off and gave us a flight demo with about four Common Buzzards in tow. Thanks Ian!

White-tailed Eagle with Common Buzzard for size comparison

We watched the bird for nearly an hour (though it seemed like much shorter) before programming Richmond Park into the satnav, having received a text from Johnny Allan about the Coues's Arctic Redpoll's continued presence. We joined the loose crowd at the Pen Ponds plantation shortly after midday and I staked it out till after 5.00pm, getting a lift back with Kojak. We saw up to ten Lesser Redpolls and a slightly larger and paler bird flying with two of these at one point, it wasn't the Arctic, it may have been a Mealy but we couldn't say for sure.

A small finch then flew over our heads, several people saw it but only I and one or two others heard it. I described the call to those who didn't as 'a bit like a Crossbill', a 'chip-chip', as it was the closest thing I could think of at the top of my head. Looking at BWP, it says for Arctic Redpoll 'Flight-call more spaced out than in Redpoll, written 'chut-chut'. Was it . . . ? Probably not but it's possible. Regardless of whether it's seen tomorrow morning or not I think I'll pop up after an early morning check of Canons.