Sunday 18th September 2011

  Had an afternoon visit to Chew Valley lake today, having watched England beat Georgia in the Rugby World Cup early this morning, and also admittedly, falling asleep while watching Wales win, even earlier on!
The hide at Stratford was nearly full, but i was still able to see a few bits from there:

Pectoral Sandpiper (1)
Little Stint (3)
Ruff (3)
Ferruginous Duck (Drake)
Black Tern (7)
Little Egret (3 at Stratford, 4+ at Herons Green)

Other than these, and the usual suspects, there were (in the wader flock), some Dunlin, Ringed Plover & Black-tailed Godwits. Also some early returning Pintail & Wigeon. Everything too far away for photos though! Lots of Hirundines during a heavy rain shower. The House Martins are still feeding youngsters near the shops in East Harptree, shame they wont be around much longer though!! Sadly, we didn't manage to see the juvenile Semi-palmated Sandpiper, which was seen in the wader flock from Stratford hide, before the flock was flushed, by an unseen raptor probably! Oh well, maybe next time.

Saturday 17th September 2011

 Drove to Grafham Water in Cambs today, to try to finally catch up with Sabine's Gull for my Dad. He had missed one a few years ago at Severn Beach, and then over the last week or so, due to the remnants of the American hurricane, we had searched 2 or 3 times for one locally. I saw the Sand Bay juvenile, but could not get my Dad on it! So we decided to try again, this time for a summer plumaged adult! The only real problem was the weather! We had quite a few heavy rain storms, including thunder & lightning in one, but there were periods of nice light as well.
  When we arrived at the Car Park, i asked a photographer if he had been photographing the Gull, he said he had and pointed me in the direction of the dam. When we arrived the Sabine's Gull was sitting on the dam and there was also a Grey Phalarope walking around close by. After about 10 minutes the Gull got up and walked along the waters edge, then it flew off West along the shore line of the reservoir. I relocated it later in a one of the bays West of the car park, where it showed really well, despite the weather!
Grey Phalarope
Sabine's Gull