Sunday, 1 February 2009

Shatterford & Keyhaven

My friend Eddie came down from leicester and I was feeling the pressure after promising a few lifers and a great days birding!

Started early at shatterford and the surrounding area for crossbill and possibly the shrike.

When scanning for the shrike I decided to look from another angle and got brief views of it on top of a bush but managed to loose it when calling back to the other guys to come and which was very frustrating as we could not relocate it (not sure if they fully believe that I saw it)!!
At this point I was starting to worry that I may have promised too much but luckily the recently reliable crossbills at shatterford put in a good show with a male and female feeding very close to us in the pines by the rail crossing(1 lifer for Ed):
We decided to give up on the shrike and continued to keyhaven in hope of finding the Red-breasted goose; (would be another lifer for Ed).

We tried in the fields where we saw it on Tuesday but there was a lone fox and obviously no geese :-(. So went to do a seawatch and have a look around the marshes for the goose and anything else. Seawatch over lunch was good (very cold too) and we managed a minimum of 5 slav grebes, 1 drake eider, lots of mergs and a handfull of great crested grebes.
Still no sign of the goose, pressure was back on but the common waders were giving nice views despite there being a very strong wind and snow.

After another quick look on the sea and picking out a red throated diver we decided to go for the hawfinch at Rhinefield in hope of getting Eddie another lifer and some year ticks aswel. At the last minute we decided to drive via the area we saw the goose on tue but not earlier and are very glad we did as we had lovely views of the goose in the snow with some brent:Great! (2nd lifer for Ed) and best views I have had of it so was very happy. On to the hawfinch, could they fully rescue the day.....?

......Of course, we had lovely views of them too although always high up(3rd lifer of Ed so pressure off):

So all in all a great day putting me on 121 for the year and Eddie got a few species back on us three down south.


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