Sunday, 27 September 2015

Empidonax excitement, phalarope, and Welsh miracle

Suffice to say a chaotic week. Following the rugby piggery of last weekend I had a days leave on Monday enabling me to catch up with the Grey Phalarope in the Cuckmere in pouring rain. As always an enigmatic bird providing quality views.
All very nice but better was to follow on Tuesday with the news that Martin Casemore had found an Empidonax flycatcher by the fishing boats at Dungeness, and I had a meeting that I could not dodge at 1 o'clock and no optics (again)! Pegged it out to Dunge in the pouring rain to find that the flycatcher had disappearred, pegged it back to work for my meeting, before pegging it back to Dunge on the news that JE had relocated it in Dave Bunneys' garden. Eternal gratitude to DC who leant me his bins which enabled me to eventually get good views of the beast as it fed from various low level perches including Daves' garden bench and satellite dish. For what its worth, from looking at the pictures and the North American ringing guide, in my opinion the bird was clearly an Acadian Flycatcher. The yellowish underparts and olive green upperparts, with yellowish fringes to the secondaries pointed towards Acadian, Yellow-bellied, or Western. The broad bill, pointed crown, bulky appearrance, and broad tail all point towards Acadian, however the wing formula with P5 (American P6) appearring longer than P1 (American P10), and the absence of an emargination on P5 (P6) are clear indicators of the birds identity.
Elsewhere Henry had a Great White Egret on Horse-eye on the 20th which is reportedly still present today (27th).
Rugby piggery has continued this weekend with a trip to the cabbage patch for the massive encounter with the Welsh. Unbelievable atmosphere, great 60-70 minutes from the men in white, ultimate respect for the level of commitment from the taffs and a quality try in the last ten. I genuinely thought we would be the stronger fitter side at the end of the game, sadly not the case... Finally a word for the man from Cowboy town (he was actually from New Jersey) I was sat next too, what a great trip - I thought I was a rugby pig but this chap has flown over from the States, and been to matches on every day (two matches on one) and was heading up to Leeds straight after the final whistle! When he flies back after the quarters he will have seen every side except Uruguay and Canada. RESPECT!

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