Friday, 19 January 2018

Stton Bingham - Fri 19 Jan

After receiving a text yesterday to say a Hawfinch was near the Fishing Lodge (I tried and failed to see it during my lunch hour) today I was able to stop off briefly on my way to a meeting and struck it lucky with the Hawfinch showing really well, if a little briefly, again near the Fishing Lodge. In a private area the bird is not really that accessible.
A return visit after lunch with a little more time on my hands meant I could cover a fair amount of the reservoir. Starting in the north-east corner the Wigeon flock numbered fifty-five birds, the mild winter seems to have resulted in lower than normal numbers being present. Five Meadow Pipits around the dam were a welcome addition to the patch year list but there wasn't much else, and no sign of the Hawfinch present in the morning.
Off then to West Pool where I flushed eight Snipe before nearly treading on a Jack Snipe that shot up from almost under my foot. What a surprise and a quality patch year tick as I've only seen two previous Jack Snipe at Sutton Bingham. Very little else to report from West Pool though an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the main reservoir viewable from the northern causeway.
I then took a walk around Cotton Bridge and the southern end of the reservoir where a few more year ticks were added as three Raven flew over, a couple of Green Woodpeckers were seen and a female Pheasant was noted. Three more Snipe were seen and at least twenty Teal were present. Three Mandarin also put in a very brief appearance and an adult Great Black-backed Gull flew south.
I finished the visit off with a walk up to the car park from the Canoe Club where a Jay was the sixth and final addition to the patch year list today. So a really good day at the reservoir today with some real quality birds being seen.
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 60 species.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Sutton Bingham - Wed 17 Jan

A decent stroll around the reservoir this afternoon failed to produce that much, with a fly-over Siskin being the pick of the bunch. There were still fifty-six Wigeon and thirty-two Canada Geese present as well as a single Mute Swan, a colour ringed bird DIX black on yellow - I'll feedback on this when I get news on its history.
I then took a drive round to the Fishing Lodge but for some reason I thought I'd carry on and check out the fields just to the south of the entrance to the Fishing Lodge. Scanning the first ploughed field, which neighbours the reservoir, I noted several Black-headed Gulls and then something rather different! After getting a fairly decent if somewhat distant view I knew I was looking at a first-winter Little Gull. Jumping back in the car I drove further down the road and pulled in to overlook the field and was treated to some much better views of the bird as it settled in the field and carried out numerous feeding flights.
Todays Little Gull was the first at Sutton Bingham for a couple of years and was a completely unexpected addition to the year list.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Milborne Port - Mon 15 Jan

A quick drive down the road during my lunch hour today and having received some excellent instructions from a friend of mine I soon connected with the wintering Cattle Egret and in the next field down the road a Great White Egret, add to this twenty Little Egrets and not a bad set of birds.
The fields in question are about half a mile along Goathill Road (heading south out of Milborne Port) and are to the east of the road.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Sutton Bingham - Sun 14 Jan

Not a lot to report from the reservoir this weekend mainly because I only managed less than an hour on site this evening, and to be honest there's not much to say...except that I found a Hawfinch! A patch lifer and a much welcome addition to my Sutton Bingham list, the first since 31 December 2016. The bird was present in the top of a tree in a private area of the reservoir, and although a bit distant for a record shot, I just wanted to savour the moment rather than lose time trying to get a photo. After about five minutes the bird flew off south.
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 53 species.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Sutton Bingham - Wed 10 Jan

A couple of hours at the reservoir this afternoon and it was not overly productive today. The highlight came in the form of a pair of Siskin feeding with Goldfinches in the car park. The only other addition to the patch year list was a female Sparrowhawk that flew across the reservoir carrying what looked like a Grey Wagtail in its talons.
On the water there were a pair of Mute Swan but just ten Wigeon and a couple of Teal. Finally, a single Snipe was on West Pool.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Sutton Bingham - Sun 7 Jan

I arrived at the reservoir just after 11am and managed a couple of hours on the patch before heading back home. Starting at the Fishing Lodge I added Greenfinch to the patch year list as well as Buzzard, but there was little else other than a flock of seventy-six Canada Geese.
Off then to West Pool where a decent stroll produced a few good birds. Three Snipe were flushed but they were trumped by a female Stonechat and a calling Water Rail. A couple of Bullfinches were seen but there were very few "small" birds. A Mute Swan was off the northern causeway.
Down to the southern end of the reservoir where all the wildfowl appeared to be hanging out with a flock of sixty-three Teal on the water and a very flighty flock of around eighty Wigeon. At least five Mandarin were also noted.
There was an impressive number of Redwing around the reservoir today, with at least a thousand birds being spread over the site.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Sutton Bingham - Mon 1 Jan

I started the New Year off with a couple of visits to the reservoir today, one late morning and one in the afternoon. The day started off with a bit of a surprise in the form of an adult Great Black-backed Gull over the main reservoir. A juvenile Mute Swan flew in from the east but didn't settle, later in the day it returned and landed at the southern end. The usual suspects were present with the Wigeon flock numbering eighty-two birds.
Despite a good walk around before lunch there was nothing unusual to report, however, returning later in the afternoon I took a wander around the southern end of the reservoir where at least twenty Teal were present and half a dozen or so Mandarin. Twenty or more Snipe were flushed and a Peregrine was on one of the pylons.
Back to the northern end and a scan of the gull roost produced a single adult Mediterranean Gull amongst the gathered masses, the sixth species of gull of the day.
The highlight of the day was not a bird though, an Otter put on a real show for me during the afternoon visit. A couple of years since I've seen one at the reservoir and a real treat.
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 44 species.