Sunday, 29 July 2012

Chard Reservoir - Sun 29 Jul

I took Tristan out this afternoon so that Ellie could have a bit of a rest and I decided to pop over to Chard Reservoir for a change of scenery. We had a lovely walk in the afternoon sunshine, but didn't see anything too unusual in the way of birds. A fairly large flock of Long-tailed Tits flew through the trees with a single Marsh Tit keeping them company.
Several House Martins were hawking over the water and just one Sand Martin was also seen. Unlike SBR, there were a good number of Tufted Ducks on the water, probably about two dozen birds. As I had to get Tristan home for 5pm for his tea (not to mention the fact the F1 highlights were also on TV) we headed back home just after 4.30pm.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 29 Jul

After dropping Ellie off at church I took Tristan up to Sutton Bingham for an hour. We spent nearly the entire duration of our trip at the northern causeway as this seemed to be the place where everything was happening for a change.
Amongst the gulls on the water and causeway bank there was a real surprise in the form of a juvenile Mediterranean Gull!
Also on the northern causeway a single returning Common Sandpiper (another or the same bird was seen later in flight from the southern causeway).
The other interest this morning was generated by a flock of fifteen Common Terns that flew in from the east and passed over the reservoir and West Pool (right over the top of our heads) and continued west until lost from sight. They were all adult birds.
Our hour was soon up and we needed to head off and pick up Ellie, but a pretty profitable morning this morning.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Sutton Bingham - Sat 28 Jul

A fairly brief afternoon visit to the reservoir with Tristan as Ellie needed to do some work at home. I popped Tristan in his pram and we spent some time next to the hide and as I scanned the area I discovered a Peregrine perched on top of one of the pylons.
The oddity of the day came in the form of an adult Common Tern that was feeding over the water, at one stage passing within a few metres of us. There was not a lot else going on so back home.

Ham Wall RSPB & Meare Heath NR - Sat 28 Jul

A fairly early start as we took a family trip up to the Somerset Levels and started off at Ham Wall RSPB reserve. The recent weather has obviously been good for the reedbeds as they had grown considerably since our last visit, and as a result we saw very few birds. In fact, a quick flight view of a Bittern was the only thing of note.
So we tried our luck at Meare Heath, but this proved to be even less productive! The second lagoon which is often drained was full of water. Rather surprising as wader migration is starting to get underway. We did see a Weasel run across the track in front of us and also my first Gatekeeper butterfly of the year.
So nothing really in the way of birds but a pleasant trip out with Ellie and Tristan.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sutton Bingham - Sun 22 Jul

Back to routine this morning as I dropped Ellie off at church and took Tristan up to the reservoir for an hour. There was not really much of note in the way of birds, a couple of singing Reed Buntings and a fly-over Kestrel were the pick of a poor crop. However, the sun had brought out a lot of butterflies and in the meadows I located my first Marbled Whites of the year. There were hundreds of Meadow Browns and a couple of Ringlets and I also saw a Speckled much more interest with regard to butterflies this morning.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Sutton Bingham - Fri 20 Jul

I raised my binoculars to my eyes for the first time in nearly four weeks today as the poor weather has meant no birding at all since mid-June! I took Tristan up to the reservoir after work and we spent about forty minutes on site. As I walked along to the hide a pair of Bullfinches flew across the road in front of me and from the hide I came across the adult Yellow-legged Gull that has spent several autumns at Sutton Bingham. It lingered on the water for a few minutes before flying south. Also around the hide a rather noisy Whitethroat, a singing Reed Bunting, a pair of Ravens and several butterflies, mostly Meadow Browns but I also saw my first Ringlets of the year and a Comma.
As I started to walk back to the car I bumped in to Ivan the SBR warden who told me that he had seen an Oystercatcher earlier in the day. So armed with that information I drove up to the northern causeway and 'scoped the bank of the reservoir on the far side of the Sailing Club, sure enough a single Oystercather was present...a real surprise considering the amount of water in the reservoir. Despite the fact it was miles away I managed some brilliant photos of it...seriously it is an Oystercatcher!
After a pretty good trip we returned home so that Tristan could have his tea!