Monday, 5 September 2011

More Farmoor Stuff

Since my last entry I've been back to Farmoor a couple of times. The first time was the previous Saturday when just as I was finishing the weekly supermarket shopping I got a call from the Wickster (Tom Wickins) saying that there was a juvenile curlew sandpiper at Farmoor. As this was a much-needed county tick for me I dropped the shopping off at home and then legged it over there. As I arrived I met a departing birder who told me that it had been flushed ten minutes previously by a walker. I thought that I might as well take a look whilst I was there and was working my way up the causeway when Badger (Jason Coppock) called up from the far end saying that it had just landed right next to him. I got a brief view in someone else's scope but then a walker put it up and off it flew, showing off it's white rump, but reasonably high and was lost to view. That was about the poorest view of a county tick that I'd ever had, most unsatisfactory. As I was out very much on borrowed time with afternoon family commitments, I hurried back only to discover later that it had come back again and was giving excellent views to all and sundry.

Jeremey Dexter, (the finder) took this excellent photo and
has kindly let me use it as I had such a crap view of it myself.

I also went on my weekly Wednesday evening trip to Farmoor, looking for some good gulling in the company of Badger. The gulls were rather poor that night but we spent some time playing with our respective new toys: in my case the Canon SX30 super-zoom and in Jason's case his new digital camcorder. Here are the fruits of my efforts:

Juvenile ringed plover, conveniently close along the causeway

The obligatory yellow-legged-gull-on-a-buoy shot

Whilst I'm on the subject of Farmoor I just want to refer back to my previous post about identifying juvenile terns. I'm sure most readers already have this nailed down but I wanted somewhere to post these photos here for my own reference if nothing else. Ian Lewington and Roger Wyatt have kindly let me use a couple of photos to illustrate the grey rump ID issue:

juv. common tern (c) Roger Wyatt
note the grey rump wedge and well-marked dark outer tail feathers

juv. arctic tern (c) Ian Lewington
note the clean rump and the pale "W" effect on the trailing edge of the inner flight feathers on the left hand photo. There is of course the very narrow and well-define black trailing edge of the primaries if you get a good underwing view.

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