Amberley Wildbrooks and Patching

Another frosty and very cold start, and clearly the cold air is holding back some of the star Amberley breeding birds. There was a thick fog patch over the swamp area so I had to delay the visit to the retrun leg. No sign of Redstart or the Redshank today. Best bird was a Snipe flushed at the swamp later on. 2 Shelduck seen again on the northern edge could well be attemping to breed. 

Amberley Wildbrooks

Amberley Wildbrooks

In the afternoon I went down to Patching water treatment works to see the Yellow-browed Wabler. Despite hearing it call when I first arrived it was very difficult to get views, and it must've been an hour and half later when I heard it calling again and finally got to see it, albeit very briefly. I knew from photos that it was quite a dull individual, but I could just about make out it's features, despite the tricky sun position. The "yellow brow" wasn't too distinct, but I managed to see the yellow wing bars. I persevered a little for better views and heard the bird calling again from a different area at the back of the treatment works. The call is quite subtle and faint, very easy to overlook. I didn't spot the bird again, but it was a very useful field experience of a species that I'd love to find myself one day. There were plenty of other migrants around with at least 4 Blackcaps, a singing Willow Warbler, a few Chiffchaffs and a couple of Swallows. No sign of the Siberian Chiffchaff, but there were some unfamiliar bird sounds that will need to remain a mystery. A Brimstone was nice to see, one of very few butterflies seen so far this year. 

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