Thursday, 19 September 2013

Chard Reservoir - Wed 18 Sep

A family trip out this afternoon and a very enjoyable walk around Chard Reservoir, with the added bonus of a Grey Phalarope! Now while phalaropes tend to be pretty tame birds I struggled, with no sign of it when we first arrived at the hide we lingered for quarter of an hour before going for a walk, a Common Sandpiper and a couple of Teal were seen from the hide.
Halfway round the reservoir we stood on the shoreline and I 'scoped back towards the bay where the bird was loitering. Luckily I saw the bird briefly in flight before it landed in the water and did typical Grey Phalarope things! We finished out walk but did take a another look from the hide where I had closer but briefer views of the bird as well as a Kingfisher that whizzed by.
The plan to head on down to Seaton to see a Spotted Crake was blown out of the water as time was against us so it was back home for dinner instead!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sutton Bingham - Wed 18 Sep

I missed a call last night telling me of a major Sutton Bingham rarity, a Red-throated Diver, at the reservoir from the hide in the evening. What followed was a fitful night's sleep and an early start as I arrived on site at 7.00am in the rain. After drawing a blank from the hide, though I did see four Mandarin, I drove back to the northern causeway in case the bird had moved up the reservoir looking for deeper water...it hadn't, and a Little Egret was scant consolation. So I walked along the shoreline from the car park back towards the hide, a Snipe flew over and so too did a couple of Grey Wagtails. Finally, after forty minutes of searching I found my quarry! A very smart summer-plumaged adult Red-throated Diver!
You can just about make out that this is the bird, it was distant, in the rain and dark!
video
The rain was falling, the light was poor, my feet were wet, and I was pushing it for getting to work on time, but it was well worth it...cracking bird and a patch tick...result!

Sutton Bingham - Sat 14 Sep & Sun 15 Sep

A few short but sweet visits to the reservoir over the weekend produced a few birds of note. Saturday morning meant a flying five minute stop on my way to work and my reward came in the form of two Hobbies over the back of West Pool.
A return visit in the afternoon and I spent a couple of hours working the south of the reservoir. There were lots of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers about of various ages and it was good fun checking each one and seeing the amount of variation. What was presumably a family party of five Ravens passed overhead and a total of three Kingfishers were seen (one at the southern end and two chasing each other from the northern causeway). The adult Yellow-legged Gull was showing well near the Canoe Club, it was first seen last weekend, and this must be at least seven or eight years that this individual has returned to the site in the autumn.
Sunday morning and an hour on site yielded the first bit of visible migration of the autumn, with two Grey Wagtails and four Meadow Pipits passing over. There were still lots of Chiffchaffs about and over the water a large number of Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins were feeding.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Sutton Bingham - Wed 4 Sep & Thu 5 Sep

It's been pretty quiet at the reservoir over recent weeks, and with the water level still very high there is going to be little or no chance of any decent Autumn wader passage on site this year. Wednesday afternoon did bring in a bit of interest though as a phone call mid-afternoon sent me straight to the reservoir where I connected with a winter-plumaged Black Tern as it fed off the dam and occasionally perched on one of the buoys. Always a bit distant but a great bird to get on the patch and never guaranteed. Also this afternoon a total of six Little Egrets.
A brief visit before work on Thursday morning failed to produce the Black Tern (though it did show itself later in the morning), and only one Little Egret was seen. However, a Hobby flew over West Pool and landed in a tree and a call from over my head alerted me to a fly-over Ringed Plover as it flew strongly north-west.
(Other sightings of interest recently have been limited to a single Common Sandpiper at the tail-end of August).