Thursday, 23 March 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 19 Mar

I stopped off at Sutton Bingham on my way home from Weymouth and had a pretty productive hour or so at the reservoir. The northern end failed to produce much more than a couple of Sand Martins and a Great Black-backed Gull but the southern end held a bit more of interest.
Walking out around Cotton Bridge I finally added Marsh Tit to the patch year list, with one bird showing well. A total of twenty-five Snipe were flushed form the flooded meadow and a pair of Mandarin were also seen. A Peregrine was soaring above the area for a good time, whilst on the water eleven Wigeon and twenty-five Teal were still present, though I expect these will be moving off any day soon.

Lodmoor RSPB & Radipole RSPB - Sun 19 Mar

A trip down to Weymouth this morning with some friends and my first stroll around Lodmoor RSPB for a couple of years. It certainly doesn't seem to be as bird filled as it used to be, with hardly any waders about, though two Grey Plover were a nice find. Three Marsh Harriers were over the reserve and a single Sandwich Tern was about. Gulls were thin on the ground, though ten Mediterranean Gulls of various ages were counted. Two Bearded Tit pairs were seen well in the reeds, and approached to within six feet, always a delight to see these characters! Finally, a dozen Sand Martins were over the reed beds.
Leaving Lodmoor we headed to Radipole RSPB, walking out to the new viewing screen. Despite over two hours on the reserve there was nothing of note other than the long-staying Hooded Merganser. All in all a pleasant morning out with good company albeit lacking in birds.

Sutton Bingham - Fri 17 Mar

A brief visit this morning produced eight Sand Martins over West Pool, but not much else. A couple of Great Black-backed Gulls were again present and four Teal were still at the southern end of the reservoir. At least five Chiffchaff were in song.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sat 11 Mar

A quick visit early morning produced my first Sand Martins of the year with half a dozen flying through and heading west, nearly three weeks earlier than the last couple of years. A singing Chiffchaff was another indicator that Spring is on the way. A pair of Teal and eight Wigeon were still around at the southern end of the reservoir, whilst an adult Great Black-backed Gull was on West Pool.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 5 Mar

Much less on patch today though a pair of Gadwall were new in on West Pool where the three sub-adult Mute Swans had relocated to. I finally added Sparrowhawk to the patch year list, with a female soaring over the northern end of the reservoir. Yesterday's Greylag Goose flew in to join some Canada Geese. A planned late afternoon visit to check gulls was cut short by strong winds and rain!
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 75 species.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 4 Mar

A bit of a surprise this afternoon as a Greylag Goose was present with a small flock of nineteen Canada Geese in the field between the Canoe Club and the car park. This is the first Greylag Goose I've had at Sutton Bingham for a few years.
 
 
 
I also managed a second patch year tick today as four Linnet flew over. It was still very quiet on the water with the wintering Wigeon flock numbering just twenty-five birds and Teal numbers were down to just half a dozen. The three sub-adult Mute Swans were still present and five Meadow Pipits were noted. On the gull front, a couple of birds to mention with a first-winter Great Black-backed Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull both being seen.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 1 Mar

After the excitement of Monday's Iceland Gull it was back to more routine fair at the reservoir this afternoon. With work going on replacing the fencing along the northern causeway, viewing of the main reservoir at this end was rather awkward, but five Mute Swans were noted, the pair that have been present for a few weeks and three new birds, all sub-adult. This winter continues to attract Great Black-backed Gulls with three adults this afternoon. The only other bit of gull interest was in the form of a single adult Mediterranean Gull that flew south with a flock of Black-headed Gulls.
The southern end of the reservoir held seventeen Wigeon and eight Teal, with a small number of Canada Geese, the latter on the far bank and obscured by trees, so hard to get a definite count. The Peregrine was again noted atop a pylon.
Finally, a total of twenty-seven Meadow Pipits were in the field between the car park and Canoe Club, the highest single count of the year so far.