Saturday, 10 November 2012

Penduline Tit at Grove Ferry

 We made the 80 mile trip down to Grove Ferry this morning in search of Penduline Tits that have been seen there during the last few days with four reported only yesterday.

Grove Ferry at dawn
On arrival at 7.30am the sun is still rising over the reserve. We park in the Grove Ferry Inn car park (£1.50 all day parking) Just across the road is the starting point to the reserve. Grove Ferry is the back end of Stodmarsh.

We walk along the trail past the mound and the first hide and head towards David Feast hide.
Along the path we hear what we think is a Penduline Tit. I check my mobile app and it sounds a good match.
After a while we hear Cettis warbler, Wren and Bearded Tit calling but we fail to see any of the target birds so we walk further along and as we get to the other side of the trail to the hide again we hear what sounds like Penduline Tit calling but still no sign.

I walk on further and get good views of Stonechat and I can hear Bearded Tit in the reeds.

Grove Ferry Reed bed
Lot's of Lapwing fly over, a Buzzard soars over high above the trees and hundreds of Fieldfare and Redwing fly back and forth across the reserve in search of berries to feed on. After an hour or so I decide to try the hide where I get good views of Water Rail, Snipe, Mallard, Teal, Coot, Gadwall and Grey Heron but no sign of Penduline Tit.
I head back out to the reed bed and scope and scan some more.
By this point Jim has gone off in search of Water Pipit and I'm standing alone when a bird flies into the reed bed. I'm not sure what it is so I stand another thirty minutes to see if it will come out and I'm joined by another birder before long. Then the bird flies up and out of the reedbed and we follow it losing it as it crosses the bushes around the hide.
The Reeds
As we walk back three other birders say they too saw it fly across and had just heard Penduline Tit too.
As I scan I finally catch a single bird flying low over the reeds and it's clearly the target.
I tried to get the other birders on it and again it popped up and flew a few yards before dropping back out of view. Nobody else seemed to get on it but I was satisfied I'd seen Penduline Tit in flight.
I headed off to the mound hoping to get a raised view and perhaps see the bird or birds feeding in the area but it was not to be despite giving it another couple of hours.
A Bittern was seen but I missed it whilst scanning for Tits.
Several groups of Snipe flew over the reserve but as the sky clouded over and the rain came I headed back to the hide.  On the walk back to the car I picked up views of Reed Bunting and a Cettis Warbler

It was wet windy and grey today but I still managed to bag a brief view of the target and move my year list to 274.

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