A Warbler, A Pipit and an Owl

by A warbler a day

I’ve had 2 more good days spotting birds before returning to work tomorrow. I spent yesterday around the lower reaches of the River Test near Totton. From Goatee Beach I saw a range of waders and waterfowl including Oystercatcher, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and Wigeon. I then went to the Lower Test Marshes reserve. From the viewing screens in the southern part of the reserve I was able to spend a few minutes watching a perched Kingfisher as well as 3 Snipe and several Teal. As I walked back to the main track I heard a Cetti’s Warbler. After intently watching the nearby bushes and reeds I finally saw a bird move between perches. Got it!. From there I went to the boardwalk at the northern end of the reserve. The websites had mentioned sightings of a Water Pipit amongst a flock of Meadow Pipits. However the area appeared tobe very quiet until a bird suddenly took off with a loud ‘tseep!’ and flew off to another perch. The call was too harsh to be a Meadow Pipit so it had to be the Water Pipit.

Today I decided to visit Bransbury Common as it approached dusk in the hope of seeing owls. Walking along the road to the path on to the site I finally spotted my first Yellowhammers of the year and a flock of Fieldfares. After negotiating some fallen trees ont the path down to the common I spent 30 minutes with some serious birders waiting for the Short-eared Owls to come to the roost and the Barn Owls to start hunting. I was about to give up, having only seen a distant Roe Deer buck, when finally an owl was spotted. A pale Barn Owl drifting low over the tussocks occasionally dropping onto unsuspecting prey. One out of two wasn’t bad.