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Mon 14th September 2009

Posted on September 14, 2009 at 5:05 PM

birds : Late morning yesterday (Sunday) I received a call about a potential Moustached Warbler seen briefly in the Blackthorn at Mont Herault but it had disappeared. As this would be a total mega-crippler, I thought that it would be worth a shot and so I went along just after lunch to see if I could find it. The wind was still blowing quite strongly from the north-east and there seemed to be plenty of migrants around (but no skulky Acros). Numerous Yellow Wagtails were dropping into the maize field, and a Whinchat and Redstart were sheltering on the leeward side of the clump. The highlight was a superb Hobby that appeared from the east, circling and gliding overhead as it drifted in the wind, my first of the year. Giving up on the warbler, I went round the back of the maize field to check the wagtails for Citrine, when I suddenly put up a large pipit. It gave a sparrow-like chirp as it exploded from the grass in front of me, but it appeared very pale, and with the early autumn date, I was going for Tawny. It flew quite a distance, but I saw where it landed and I headed back to the car to collect my scope. Mark G arrived and as I was chatting to him, a dog-walker tramped through the field the pipit was in and we picked it up again as it flew past us, again looking very pale in the bright sun. We saw which field it dropped into, and we drove round and soon saw it's head poking out of the grass. Scoping it up, we could clearly see the pale lores of a Richard's Pipit (and in retrospect, the original call was too drawn out for Tawny). This was quite a surprise as this was probably the earliest there has been one in Guernsey and I had not heard of any in the UK yet. We usually get eastern birds a couple of weeks after they arrive on the east coast. I managed to get a few photos despite looking into the sun, before it was disturbed by a car and was never seen again as far as I know.

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Richard's Pipit - hopefully the first of several good finds this autumn

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moths : There were numerous butterflies flying at Mont Herault, including two Clouded Yellows.

nonsense : It was Aidan's first ever day at school today and he did exceptionally well it seems. Here he is in all his finery.

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slugs and snails and puppy dog tails

Categories: Self-found Rarities, 2009 Autumn