Monday, 16 April 2018

Sutton Bingham - Sun 15 Apr

As our birding trip had finished earlier that expected I took the opportunity to stop off at Sutton Bingham on the way home and managed to find a Common Tern.
Another welcome addition to the patch year list. There were also a few more Chiffchaffs (one of which caught and, after a struggle, ate a bumble bee) about and I thought I heard a snippet of Willow Warbler song but failed to actually nail anything. Not much else about today though other than a single Common Sandpiper from the dam.

Morden Bog - Sun 15 Apr

After the very successful boat trip we headed off to Wareham Forest for a walk around Morden Bog where we failed to locate any Great Grey Shrikes (two have been present for most of the winter). A Firecrest was foraging in bushes behind the car and was very obliging but the weather soon took a bit of a change for the worse with heavy and consistent rain coming in and before long we were all pretty soaked. That being said we did hear a Cuckoo singing and a pair of Woodlark were a welcome sight. A couple of Tree Pipits were also back on territory and I heard my first Willow Warbler of the year. A single male Stonechat was also seen but the poor weather put pay to any further birding and we gave up after an hour or so and headed off home after an enjoyable morning out.

Poole Harbour - Sun 15 Apr

An early start today as I met up with friends and headed down to Poole to catch an 8am boat for a tour of Poole Harbour. Setting off from the quay in Poole we did a headed west picking out a Great Northern Diver, several Great Crested Grebes and a couple of sub-adult Shags. Around us there were good numbers of Mediterranean Gulls and a few Sandwich Terns.
A female Marsh Harrier was spotted over one of the smaller islands in the harbour before we headed up the River Frome as far as Wareham, along the way we had singing Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler, both additions to my year list (which obviously I don't keep) and several calling Cetti's Warblers. A single Wheatear was noted and a Kingfisher provided a splash of colour.
Retracing our steps we headed back towards the harbour proper and along the way I was lucky enough to spot a ringtail Hen Harrier and managed to get everyone else on to it. My first Hen Harrier for five years and a real highlight of the trip. We continued sailing around to the south of Poole Harbour and in to Wych Channel where a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose was noted and one of two Common Sandpipers was present.
As we returned to Poole quay two more Great Northern Divers were found. We were on the water for three hours and were lucky enough to avoid any rain, but it was rather chilly! A great trip and I'd recommend it to any one.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Sutton Bingham - Fri 13 Apr

Despite several short visits to the reservoir over the course of the week I've had to wait until this morning to add anything to the patch year list when, finally and three days later than the average arrival date, I found my first Common Sandpiper of the year. Just a single bird feeding on the water's edge in front of the Fishing Lodge.
Out of interest, a visit yesterday afternoon did produce a total of five Mute Swans, an unusually high count for the reservoir especially as I've not seen any on patch for several weeks.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Sutton Bingham - Sun 8 Apr

I only managed a very brief visit to the reservoir this morning, but still managed to add a couple more species to the year list. Over West Pool I saw my first House Martin of the year but the best was yet to come. Driving round to check out the field that held the Brambling yesterday (no sign today) I was checking the Meadow Pipits when I large bird drifted overhead, a Red Kite! Most unexpected at this time of year, and only my fifth sighting at the reservoir.
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 90 species.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Sutton Bingham - Sat 7 Apr

A late morning visit on the way back from a trip in to Yeovil produced a patch mega in the form of a Brambling, feeding in the muddy field just south of the entrance to the Fishing Lodge in the company of half a dozen Meadow Pipits.
I've heard a couple of Brambling at Sutton Bingham, but never seen one so this was almost as good as a patch tick, and one of my favourite birds to boot. This same field has now produced Little Gull, Little Ringed Plover and Brambling this year...wow!
A singing Linnet was new for the year list also, but other than a "new" Blackcap and a single Swallow it was pretty quiet.
Sutton Bingham year list 2018 now at 88 species.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Sutton Bingham - Thu 5 Apr

A quick stop on the way home from work produced eight Tufted Duck off the dam (four drakes and four ducks) and a couple of Swallows with a Sand Martin over West Pool. I also found my first Blackcap of the year in the car park.