Monday, 24 February 2014

Stourhead & Stourton - Sat 22 Feb

A family trip to Wiltshire this morning and a visit to Stourhead. We took a walk around the lake, which contained nothing more interesting than a few Tufted Duck, Coot, and Great Crested Grebes! There were a lot of birds around and a distinct feeling of Spring being in the air, with bird song all around...though most kept themselves hidden. A couple of Marsh Tits were new for the year list, and I also noted Goldcrest, Nuthatch and Treecreeper.
A brief stop in the village of Stourton produced a dozen or so Tree Sparrows seen well on feeders at a site a fellow Somerset birder told me about. Also around this area seventeen Linnet and half a dozen Fieldfare were seen. As we headed back down the road a Raven flew low over the car!

Sutton Bingham - Wed 19 Feb & Thu 20 Feb

Two brief afternoon visits on my way home from work produced very little!
Wednesday produced four Mute Swans, five Teal and a Little Grebe on West Pool.
Thursday yielded an adult Mediterranean Gull moulting in to summer plumage amongst some 409 Black-headed Gulls and six Common Gulls. And that was that!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Sutton Bingham - Sun 16 Feb

I spent nearly two hours on site this morning and the first half of that time was spent around Cotton Bridge at the southern end of the reservoir. A Raven was hanging out with other corvids in one of the fields and as I walked down towards Cotton Bridge three Siskin flew over. A pair of Nuthatches were being very vocal in the trees above me as I walked along and when I reached the flooded area where the feeder stream enters the reservoir I flushed fourteen Snipe and twenty-four Teal. Four Wigeon were also present.
I then retraced my steps back to the car and spent half an hour or so in and around the car park. A Coal Tit was another new bird for the patch year list and a couple of Treecreepers and Goldcrests were also seen and a Stock Dove passed overhead.
I returned to Sutton Bingham later in the day for another walk around. This time starting at the car park and following the water's edge as far as the site of the old hide and back again. A pair of Bullfinches were seen by the Canoe Club and were the fourth new species for the SBR 2014 patch list of the day. Another Stock Dove flew over and I also saw a female Reed Bunting and a Meadow Pipit. Three more Snipe were also disturbed from the waterside vegetation.
Back at the car park things had quietened down a bit but a walk round to the church produced two Chiffchaffs and a singing Song Thrush. So plenty of time on patch today and four new birds for the year bright skies, warm temperatures (for the time of year), and no rain!
Sutton Bingham year list for 2014 now at 65 species.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Sutton Bingham - Sun 9 Feb

I spent nearly two hours on patch late afternoon today in the hope of rounding off the weekend with something interesting, alas this did not quite happen, though I did see my first House Sparrows of the year at Sutton Bingham, so another species added to the patch year list!
Another couple of Mute Swans had arrived taking the total up to six birds this afternoon. A couple of dozen Common Gulls were present briefly but interesting gulls of note were present today.
A walk around the southern end of the reservoir as dusk set in produced just three Wigeon, around twenty Teal and five Snipe. Several Redwing and Fieldfare were also gathering to roost and with the light pretty much gone it was back home for dinner!
Sutton Bingham year list for 2014 now at 61 species.

Ham Wall RSPB - Sun 9 Feb

A morning visit to the RSPB reserve of Ham Wall failed to deliver much in the way of quality birds. I didn't manage to see the drake Green-winged Teal, though apparently it was seen in the morning, so two female-type Marsh Harriers ended up being the pick of the birds seen. A small flock of Lesser Redpolls were seen in flight and a couple of Cetti's Warblers were typically heard but not seen. Despite being caught in a pretty heavy rain shower it was good to get out and get some exercise and fresh air before lunch.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 8 Feb

An hour or so late afternoon produced an adult Mediterranean Gull amongst a couple of hundred Black-headed Gulls viewed from the northern causeway at Sutton Bingham Reservoir. There was precious little else to be seen, but four Mute Swans were present at the southern end before they relocated to West Pool.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Hambridge - Sun 2 Feb

A visit to Hambridge this afternoon on my way to visit family and it took me forty-five minutes to locate the distant and mobile Great Grey Shrike that has been wintering in the area. I did manage some good views eventually as it worked its way along a hedgerow. The only other bird of note seen during my brief stop were a pair of Raven and a Kestrel.

Sutton Bingham & East Coker WTW - Sun 2 Feb

The highlight during a fairly short visit was the Yellow-browed Warbler which I observed feeding on the car park for a few minutes before it vanished. I've been lucky enough to see the bird four times now since I first found it a month ago. It was the only bird of note I saw so I headed off and made a visit to East Coker Water Treatment Works, a site I had not attended since Spring of last year!
The sewage beds didn't hold as many birds as I would have expected, with a single Grey Wagtail and half a dozen Pied Wagtails. Three Chiffchaffs were also present along with a single Goldcrest. The surrounding fields held good numbers of Redwing, with at least a hundred birds present with a smaller number of Fieldfares joining them and three Mistle Thrushes flew over.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 1 Feb

A fairly brief visit late this afternoon and there was very little about. A Grey Wagtail was present on the northern causeway and was a new year tick for the patch and fourteen Wigeon were gathered off the dam. The only other thing worth noting today was the number of Black-headed Gulls present, with three hundred and thirty five being counted.