Monday, 9 July 2018

Goring and Thursley Common

A Whimbrel, an Arctic Skua and a Shelduck were season-firsts at Goring Gap this morning. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull flew northwest over the fields and 18 Mediterranean Gulls included seven juveniles. Some were moving purposefully, including a flock incorporating two adults and six juveniles. Two adult Common Gulls and three juvenile Pied Wagtails were seen. Other birds noted included 14 Swifts, seven Gannets, four Swallows east, two Sandwich Terns and three Oystercatchers.

juvenile Yellow-legged Gull over Goring Gap
Herring Gull family at Goring Gap

In the late afternoon, as I was in the area, I called in at Thursley Common. Thanks to a bloke along the boardwalk for giving me directions, and thanks to another bloke just leaving the Belted Galloway enclosure, I knew I was looking in the right place. Sure enough, after about 15 minutes, the splendid male Red-backed Shrike materialised on the perch that bloke 2 had described it as frequenting. It showed very nicely indeed for half an hour or so, sitting calmly and making occasional brief sallies to catch a large insect before returning to its vigil. Other highlights included a Crossbill, a Siskin, a family of Stonechats, Willow Warbler, Meadow Pipit and a Teal.

male Red-backed Shrike at Thursley Common