Up with the Larks to catch a Phalarope!

The forecast for this morning was good weather and mrs bob had some plans for a bike ride or tennis. However, I was able to persuade that if I went out really early  I would be back by 11. Though not as early as some of Alan's (doggie) trips, I was on my patch by 6:45 - a world record for me  and in fact I was first one there(-:). I must admit it was fantastic. There was a bit of mist still on the cana where the sun still hadn't got onto it because of the hill, but all the treetops were bathed in beautiful light. And the birds were singing all the way along the towpath - I recognised Blackbirds, Tits, Robin, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff and Wren and there were others I couldn't work out.

First off was an escaping Whitethroat.

but I found it again, though it wanted to stay hidden.

First Skylark of the morning.

The Gadwall's hadn't even stirred.

As opposed to the Whitethroat, the Sedge Warblers are being fantastically cooperative.

anfd the Reed Bunting just wouldn't turn round.

On the way into the meadows from the canal bank, I spooked the Great White Egret so the picture is quite poor, but shows it for what it was. Apparaently it hasn't been seen for a couple of days.

A couple of Lapwing were doing their synchro flying.

Second Skylark of the morning

As I was looking out towards the island in the middle of the scrape on which there were some Ringed Plover (don't know if they were Little) , a Dunlin and a pair of Oystercatchers, I noticed a small flash of red near the water's edge - a small wader bobbing about on the water. I didn't know what it was for sure, other than I remembered last year that we had a Red Necked Phalarope appear on our patch. Took a coiple of quick shots to check agains my ident app and sure enough it's a Red Necked Phalarope. Pictures aren't great as these are at the limit of my lens  - I knew I sjould have bought a 600mm(-:).

This one witha Plover for sze comparison.

This one with an Oystercatcher.


last year the bird stayed until July but was hardly visible becasue the vegetation was so high it was impossible to see into the pool at this level at the water's edge. So I suppose this year we should be grateful for the late spring as the vegetation is still low(-:). I wonder if its the same bird, following the same route - perhaps a year older the drive to reproduce might make it move on earlier than last year, but even so I expect that we will be having lots of visitors on our patch over the coming weekend. I believe I was the first to see it(big grin).

Yet another Skylark.

then some canada Geese came into the pool.

Time to head off for whatever mrs bob had in store but at the car park I saw a Wren in a tutu

and then a quick tidy up

and lastly a Chiffchaff

Mrs bob opted for a game of tennis and after that the weather still hadn't changed for the worse as forecast, so I spent an hour up on our local common, as I haven't been there for quite a while - it gets very windy up there(-:).

Its always good for Skylarks, Meadow Pippets, Linnets, Yellowhammers, Stonechat and Wheatear though this afternoon all I saw was Skylark and Meadow Pipit. I had been relatively pleased with some of the Skylark pictures from this morning, but I managedthese this afternoon.

Meadow Pipit

and a Whitethroat which I've not seen up there before.

What an exciting and enjoyable day that was. I will make a point of trying more early starts, esopecially as it will enable me to do other things later in the day(-:).



Birding Blog here.

Flickr photos here.

  • Wonderful set of photos Bob, what a day you had, blue sky too,  brilliant :)


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    You seem pretty calm about that Phalarope Bob,we would have been dancing a jig it had been on our patch,great set of photos it is certainly an interesting patch.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Great series of pics Bob and a wonderfull selection of birds,will we be having more "early morning jaunts "from you now you have  tasted the "fun" ??


  • In reply to bonsaiman:

    Sounds like a bit of a special day B_r_n!  Just looked up about the Phalarope as I'd never heard of it before & found that it's not all that common so you must have been more pleased than you let on!!  Loved that Wren at ballet practice lol !


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to bob's_retired_now:

    Well worth the early start to see a Red-necked Phalarope on your home patch. They are cracking little birds and surprisingly confiding. I've never seen one in Britain but have seen them in Iceland and Arctic Norway. You can get really close to them and they don't take much notice of you.



    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to TeeJay:

    Saw the photo on Gloster Birder so popped over here knowing there would be more and better photos and wasn't disappointed.  Our local claim to fame today (although I was at a funeral) was a Bee-eater at the Water Park,  It was with swifts so presumably on passage somewhere.  Keep an eye out for that one, it could well be heading your way.

    The Cotswold Water park sightings website

    My Flicker page

  • In reply to Bob Philpott:

    WOW , well done Bob. I reckon I could be tempted out of bed at the crack of dawn for the chance of a Red-necked Phalarope.

    My gallery here

    Checkout the forums' Community HOMEPAGE for lots of interesting posts from other members.

  • In reply to Galatas:

    Some brilliant photos Bob - I've never seen a phalarope before or indeed know anything about them (homework for this evening!) so well done on your sighting and photos!

    Love the skylark, sedge warbler and chiffchaff photos - you've done really well getting all those in one go!  I've managed some chiffchaff and sedge warbler sightings but have not got them to co-operate like you have for a photo!

    See my Flickr photos here



  • Up with the larks, and what beautiful pics you got of them too, congrats on the rare sighting of a bird I too will have to look up, all in all you seem to have had a wonderful day.

    Lot to learn