Friday, 9 March 2018

Sutton Bingham - Thu 8 Mar

A flying visit on the way home from work produced the first Little Grebe of the year, a very smart bird in full summer plumage. There were loads of gulls dropping in, but I just didn't have time to check them out as I was late for dinner!
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 77 species.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Sutton Bingham - Sun 4 Mar

A mid-morning visit produced my first Little Egret of the year at Sutton Bingham. Not a lot else about though West Pool still hosted one drake Shoveler and a drake Tufted Duck was new in.
A return visit late afternoon produced three Lapwing in the field by West Pool and a drake Pintail off the Fishing Lodge (presumably the bird that was here on Friday and yesterday). A decent search of the woodland around the reservoir failed to locate any hoped for Woodcock and the gull roost was non-existent by the time I left just before 6pm.
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 76 species.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 3 Mar

The snow gradually melted over the morning so I was able to get the car up to Sutton Bingham this afternoon. A quick stop at the northern causeway produced a Lapwing and on West Pool yesterday's drake Pintail was still present whilst he drake Shoveler had been joined by another bird. A single Snipe was seen and four Teal were noted.
I then headed down to the southern end of the reservoir where a total of seventy-four Teal were resting on the ice that was covering part of the reservoir. A couple of Kingfishers were seed as was a single Reed Bunting. A lone Meadow Pipit was feeding on the water's edge along with a Grey Wagtail.
Back then to the Fishing Lodge and a check of the gathering gulls. Much quieter today with an adult Mediterranean Gull proving the only bit of interest on the larid front. The Wigeon flock had increased to ninety-three individuals whilst forty Canada Geese were also present.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Sutton Bingham - Fri 2 Mar

Heavy snow and impassable roads (unless you have a 4x4...which I don't) meant that I had an hour long hike through snow carrying my 'scope to get any birding done at the reservoir today, but I did it and it was a good decision with some good birds and some really great birds!
Arriving at the northern causeway, West Pool had a few duck with the pick being a drake Pintail and a drake Shoveler.
Three Tufted Duck and eight Teal were also present along with a Coot. A couple of Snipe and a Lapwing were also noted.
I then walked round to the opposite side of the reservoir, checking the outfall stream where another Snipe and a further Teal were noted before I walked up to the dam.
Scanning across the reservoir there were already a good number of gulls gathering, but the immediate highlight was a Golden Plover that flew in and landed on the dam. Unfortunately it flew before I had a chance to get a photo. Overhead three Skylark flew through whilst on the water another pair of Teal and around thirty Wigeon were present.
Checking the gathering gulls I relocated the first-winter Iceland Gull that I had found last Sunday and a third calendar year Great Black-backed Gull was also present amongst the expected species. Apologies for this shocking photo of the Iceland Gull, but couldn't resist!
As if all that wasn't good enough a Buzzard flew over the far bank and flushed a small wader. It soon pitched down again and revealed itself to be a Sanderling, a real rarity for Sutton Bingham and a completely unexpected find.
So the long, hard walk was well worth it, though I was shattered by the time I got back home. Five new species for the patch year list though and a good bit of exercise.
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 75 species.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Sutton Bingham - Tue 27 Feb

I managed to spend a couple of hours at the reservoir this afternoon and it started off pretty well with a flock of around one hundred Lapwing present in a newly ploughed field just west of Hyde Farm, easily viewable from the patch! An adult Mediterranean Gull drifted overhead whilst I was watching the Lapwing, always a delight to see and looking perfect in the afternoon sun, this would be the first of six Mediterranean Gulls seen during the course of the afternoon.
I then drove down to the southern end of the reservoir and walked back up to the car park. there were a few bits and pieces about with six Teal being seen as well as singles of Marsh Tit and Meadow Pipit, a couple of Reed Buntings and several Redwing and Fieldfare plus two more Lapwing in flight heading south.
Back then to the northern end again and round to the Fishing Lodge where a further eight Lapwing flew through and a drake Tufted Duck was on the water. The Wigeon flock numbered seventy-five birds.
Finally, a Kingfisher was seen from the northern causeway an a Coot was on West Pool.
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 70 species.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Sutton Bingham - Sun 25 Feb

After the excitement of the Ross's Gull twitch to Weymouth this morning, I stayed closer to home this afternoon and took a walk out at the reservoir. Not much happening with thirty-six Wigeon and two Teal at the southern end, a male Reed Bunting and then from the northern causeway an Iceland Gull! I couldn't believe it, what a cracker.
I'd been hoping for a "white-winger" at Sutton Bingham this winter due to the fairly good numbers seen in the south-west and this Iceland Gull was a really nice bird and noticeably darker than the first-winter that I found here last February.
The only other bird of note was an adult summer-plumaged Mediterranean Gull just south of the car park.
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 69 species.

Radipole RSPB - Sun 25 Feb

A morning trip down to the seaside and a family twitch to see a Ross's Gull! We got lucky as we had started at Lodmoor RSPB but within a minute or two of leaving the car news broke the gull was at Radipole and ten minutes later we joined the masses and had great views of this smashing little gull. I'd seen Ross's Gull before but the lure of an adult bird in pristine winter plumage was too much of a draw.
An absolute beauty of a bird and well worth the trip out.