Friday, 11 January 2019

Sutton Bingham - Thu 10 Jan

So a few short trips to Sutton Bingham at the start of the year failed to produce much other than a drake Gadwall on Jan 2 and a Peregrine on Jan 4 meaning a rather dismal total of just 42 species by the end of the first week.
A little over an hour on patch this afternoon though but again it was hard going. A single Snipe was flushed from the water's edge near the Canoe Club and other than that it was routine fair. So I made for the southern end and a wander around Cotton Bridge. A total of twenty more Snipe were seen plus a pair of Gadwall, a single Wigeon and around twenty Teal. However, star bird without a doubt was a Woodcock that had obviously been disturbed by something and flew straight towards me and over my head before I lost it in the trees. Awesome! Only my third Sutton Bingham Woodcock and the best views I've ever had at the reservoir.
Sutton Bingham year list 2019 now at 49 species.

Sherborne Sewage Works - Mon 7 Jan

Not usually worthy of a separate blog posting my Sherborne patch does occasionally produce something interesting and today I found a Yellow-browed Warbler at the sewage works, even managed to get a few ropey hand-held digi-binned record shots.
My first Yellow-browed Warbler for Sherborne and a welcome addition.

Abbotsbury and Weymouth - Sun 6 Jan

Some proper birding today as I was picked up at 7.10am and driven down to Abbotsbury where we met up with friends and had a great day of birding with good company.
Abbotsbury Swannery produced a flock of around thirty Cattle Egrets leaving their roost at around 8.20am and on the Fleet we picked out a drake Scaup amongst Pochard and Tufted Duck. No sign of the long-staying Whooper Swan though unfortunately.
After a while we headed towards Weymouth, stopping at Chickerell where we walked down to East Fleet Farm and, after hearing it call on and off for about half an hour, finally got views (albeit brief) of a Dusky Warbler.
Sandsfoot Castle and Portland Harbour was our next port of call where at least two hundred Mediterranean Gulls passed over and in the harbour we picked out both Great Northern Diver and Black-throated Diver and a good number of Black-necked Grebes.
Off then to the centre of Weymouth and a visit to Radipole RSPB where we soon located the drake Ring-necked Duck, though it was rather distant. A walk around the reserve produced some great views of Bearded Tits and eventually we picked up a Yellow-browed Warbler.
Our next stop was Lodmoor RSPB and after a fair amount of searching we got some good but distant views of a Lesser Yellowlegs before it took flight and landed out of sight. A nice Ruff was also present.
Off the beach in Weymouth Bay we found a Common Scoter and two Eider plus at least one Red-necked Grebe.
We finished the day at Bowleaze but despite our best efforts failed to find any Short-eared Owls, not that it mattered too much as we had a brilliant day.

Arne RSPB - Sat 5 Jan

A trip out today and a nice wander around Arne starting with Coombe Heath where it was pretty quiet on the bird fron though plenty of waders present in Middlebeare channel including several Avocet and a few Black-tailed Godwit amongst others.
After a quick bite to eat in the café it was out to Shipstal Point where again there was a noticeable absence of woodland and heathland birds but a Peregrine passed overhead and out in Poole Harbour there were several Goldeneye and Red-breasted Mergansers.
At least eighteen Spoonbills were noted also.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Sutton Bingham - Mon 31 Dec

My final visit to the reservoir of the year and an hour on site mid-afternoon produced two drake and one duck Pintail off the Fishing Lodge in the company of three Teal. The Wigeon flock was dispersed in to three groups, but still totalled eighty-four birds and the Canada Geese seemed to be split up a bit too, with a few small groups and a total of seventy birds. A single Mediterranean Gull was picked up in the gathering gull roost but I failed to find anything else. It was encouraging to count ten Greenfinch at the Fishing Lodge.
Finally, I'd like to wish all the followers of my blog a very Happy New Year and a prosperous, healthy, and bird filled 2019.

Sutton Bingham - Wed 26 Dec

An hour on patch late-morning provided a surprising range of birds with a very unexpected Red Kite flying north over the reservoir. A Little Egret then flew over heading east and then a flock of eight Egyptian Geese flew in from the north heading south, followed by a lone Lapwing...all this within about 15 minutes! As I walked back to where I had parked I saw the Egyptian Geese had settled on the water, so I grabbed a quick shot of all eight, the highest number I have ever seen together at Sutton Bingham.
I could only muster up fifty-four Wigeon today and four Teal. The Canada Goose flock numbered some thirty-nine birds.
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 117 species.

Sutton Bingham - Fri 21 Dec

Back on patch this afternoon and a Shelduck was near the dam, though not viewable from public rights of way.
West Pool hosted a pair of Shoveler and three pairs of Gadwall. Three Tufted Duck and five Teal were off the Fishing Lodge along with fifty-seven Wigeon.