Friday, 12 June 2015

Hudsonian Whimbrel; Church Norton, West Sussex

Sitting at home I received a surprise phone call from Brian around 1pm yesterday afternoon to say he had the rest of the day off and did we want to try for the Whimbrel?
We quickly met up and set off on the 120 mile journey around the M25 and down the A3 arriving around 3pm. Luckily we found a space close to Church Norton car park and walked through the church yard and over the little stile at the end of the path.
The tide was out but we quickly picked out a couple of Whimbrel busily feeding on the mud. Neither bird was jumping out at us and eventually both took to the air to show the white "V" confirming any doubts that neither of these were the target bird.
A tip off from a guy saying a group of birders had what they thought was the Hudsonian some 300 yards further along the shoreline.
We joined the ranks and were put on a sleeping bird behind a small island! It would wake to preen occasionally giving views of the head, which looked very pale at this distance.

The view while waiting for the Hudsonian to show!

As expected, still a popular bird!

This was the routine for the next two hours. Watch a sleeping bird, watch it wake and preen, watch it sleep again.
Suddenly it started to become more active and gave a couple of wing stretches. The bird was still looking good for Hudsonian. Then it took to the air and the identity was confirmed!
Many of the birders began to drift off back towards their cars, but we stayed and as the tide began to come in the bird took to the air again and was easily picked out among the other Whimbrel flying with it. 
A great afternoon twitch with a good group of birders. 
Thanks Brian!

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