Monday, 20 October 2014

Grey Phalarope

After a crappy early shift at work on Saturday 18th I settled down on the sofa with a cup of tea and some chocolate biscuits to enjoy some mindless TV. I decided to have a quick look at the Devon Birds sightings page on the internet where there were two nice photos of a grey phalarope - even nicer was that they were taken here in Plymouth that lunchtime and so I grabbed my stuff and dashed off to go and have a look for it.

It had been seen from Mountbatten Pier but I was feeling mingey and didn't want to spend the £3 ferry fee and so had a look for the phalarope from Fishermans Nose on Plymouth Hoe which looks over towards Mountbatten Pier. As expected there was no sign of the bird but as the tide was high and it was windy and choppy I had a walk along Plymouth Hoe to see if it had moved closer in, checking all the floating clumps of seaweed, but with no luck. I headed back to Fishermans Nose and could see 4 birders out on Mountbatten Pier intently looking at something with their telescopes and so I coughed up the ferry fee and headed off to have a look. Arriving at the Pier and the grey phalarope was busily feeding in the swell close to the seaward side of the Pier giving some excellent views - well worth £3!. It fed constantly, occasionally being spooked by black headed gulls flying too close overhead when it would fly off for a short distance. At times it plunged down in to the water to snatch at prey but mostly picked at the surface - a very beautiful bird and only my second sighting of one since my first on Plymouth Hoe in 2009. And in my rush I had left my camera at home, well Davids camera as mine is currently being repaired as I have damaged the retractable lens shutters, very annoying as it was so close!

Grey Phalarope - photo courtesy of the Devon Birds Website

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