Monday, 29 September 2014

Sutton Bingham - Sun 28 Sep

I made a couple of visits to the patch today and it provided more of the same really. Starting at the dam there were six White Wagtails still and a pair of Grey Wagtails, the small horse paddock held six Meadow Pipits and two Little Egrets were feeding on the water's edge. Two Kingfishers were seen at the outflow stream. No sign of the Osprey this morning, but it was still about and during the afternoon I saw it a few times. The only other birds of note today were in the ploughed field at the bottom of the hill north of Hyde Farm where a further eight Meadow Pipits and another White Wagtail were seen.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 27 Sep

I managed to squeeze in about half an hour at the northern end of the reservoir this afternoon and I concentrated on the dam. The Osprey was still viewable as it perched in the ash tree that seems to be its new favoured viewing point. On the dam itself were half a dozen White Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail alongside a few Pied Wagtails. Two Little Egrets were present and a Common Sandpiper was still knocking around. A couple of Meadow Pipits were present and I also found rather an interesting gull.
My first thought was an argentatus Herring Gull, sometimes called a Scandinavian Herring Gull but I'm not so sure after studying the photos again and getting feedback from a few argentatus would be pretty rare in the south west, especially this time of year.Gull expert Rich Bonser suggested that it could be a hybrid Herring x Lesser Black-backed, while another suggestion is that it simply a 3cy Lesser Black-backed. Gulls never fail to amaze me, they are so varied and full of surprises.
Finally, six Wigeon were present off the dam, though they did not linger and flew south.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Sutton Bingham - Thu 25 Aug

Having arranged access to a private part of the reservoir I spent a bit of time after work at the northern end near the dam, please note there is no public access to this part of Sutton Bingham. The Osprey, which I thought may have gone, was still around and favouring an ash tree (apparently this has been it's preferred perch for a few days but is completely hidden from public rights of way). The dam hosted a load of birds, with a single Common Sandpiper being quite a late bird and a large flock of wagtails, including a single Grey Wagtail and about a dozen White Wagtails amongst a similar number of Pied Wagtails. At least four Meadow Pipits were also present here. Just as I was heading back to the car, four Wigeon flew over.

Sutton Bingham - Wed 24 Sep

A couple of hours on path this afternoon and I spent pretty much the entire time walking from the site where the hide was located north along the reservoir to the Canoe Club and back again. There was no sign of the long staying Osprey today, so perhaps it has moved on after three weeks at Sutton Bingham? However, six Wigeon off the Canoe Club were new and could be a sign that winter is on it's way! Two Raven flew over and that was pretty much it.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Sutton Bingham - Sun 21 Sep

A couple of trips to the reservoir today, starting off with a later morning visit which produced a bit of interest and a sign of some migration. Pretty much the first bird I saw was the juvenile Osprey being harassed by a couple of Carrion Crows over West Pool, it then drifted south and was lost to view.
A Snipe was flushed from the northern causeway and I heard a Common Sandpiper but failed to locate it. Overhead a good number of Meadow Pipits were passing through, and unbelievably the second Tree Pipit of the week!
I returned later in the day, but the weather conditions were not quite so good as it was more overcast and certainly a bit cooler. The Osprey was still present and viewable from the northern causeway as it rested in a tree. There was still a slight trickle of Meadow Pipits, with around ten moving through and over the reservoir at least five hundred Swallows were feeding. Several Chiffchaffs were around the site. The last bird of note was a Kingfisher seen zooming over the reservoir towards the Sailing Club.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Sutton Bingham - Thu 19 Sep

I managed a quick stop off at the reservoir this morning, no sign of the Osprey which was still here yesterday morning, but a Little Egret on the northern causeway and lots of Swallows feeding over the reservoir and adjacent fields. Then from out of nowhere I got a Sutton Bingham tick! A Tree Pipit flew over calling! Despite scanning the skies I was unable to see the bird, but the call is diagnostic so no problems with the identification.
A return to the reservoir mid-afternoon failed to produce much more other than a juvenile Hobby which spent a bit of time attempting to hunt over West Pool.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Sutton Bingham - Sun 14 Sep

A late morning visit produced a bit of variety from the northern causeway, though nothing much else of note. A Common Sandpiper was seen zooming over the water until lost to view near the Fishing Lodge and a Little Egret was feeding on the dam. Highlight though was a juvenile Osprey showing well from the northern causeway and even better from the car park until flushed by a sailing boat.
Though I can't say for sure, I'm pretty certain this is a different bird than the one seen last weekend because as far as I know there have been no sightings at the reservoir for a week.
Returning later in the day I spent nearly an hour around the Water Treatment Works as the bushes seemed to be alive with Chiffchaffs, there must have been at least twenty birds...but try as I might I could not find anything more unusual amongst them. A couple of Meadow Pipits flew over heading north and other bits and pieces seen around here included a few Goldcrests and Grey Wagtails. I then drove on round to the southern end of the reservoir, but failed to see anything other than Great Crested Grebes. A quick stop near the Canoe Club produced some great views of the Osprey as it hunted, I managed to see one unsuccessful fishing attempt...spectacular stuff! On then to the northern causeway again and a surprise find with a female Shoveler being present...where was that earlier in the day? Another tick on the patch year list.
Sutton Bingham year list for 2014 now at 103 species.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Sutton Bingham - Fri 12 Sep

Quick stop off at the reservoir today on the way in to work and not a lot to be seen, especially as the early morning fog that gathers in the dip that is Sutton Bingham Reservoir during Autumn mornings was hampering the view. I did stop off at the top of the hill by Hyde Farm, where I found a Spotted Flycatcher along with a few mobile Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers. Always nice to see Spotted Flycatcher at Sutton Bingham as it no longer breeds on site and is no way a guaranteed year tick on patch.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Sutton Bingham - Mon 8 Sep

Unbelievable luck this morning. I left for work slightly earlier than usual and this gave me fifteen minutes to check out the reservoir and I managed to add another species to the year list. A group of four Garganey appeared from nowhere, landed briefly on West Pool before getting spooked by a Buzzard and then pegged it south. Result!
I also saw a single White Wagtail feeding with three Pied Wagtails on the ploughed field near the Canoe Club. I've been keeping an eye on this particular field for a couple of weeks in the hope something might drop in, next time I hope it's something that will count on my Patchwork Challenge list as White Wagtail is only classified as a subspecies!

Sutton Bingham - Sun 7 Sep

The Osprey was still present late morning near the Canoe Club but was slightly more mobile during the afternoon as it was first seen at the southern end as it made it's way north up the reservoir, last being seen making a fishing attempt neat the Sailing Club and then drifting east and becoming lost to view.
More importantly today I notched up my one hundredth species of bird on patch this year with a fly-over Yellow Wagtail! I must admit that I feel this is quite a landmark as my patch is a pretty small inland reservoir. I managed 102 species in 2013, so with three and a half months to go it'll be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes and what more I can add.
By the way, a Meadow Pipit flew over with a load of Swallows mid-afternoon too!

Sutton Bingham - Sat 6 Sep

The recent run of Whinchats continued today with two birds at West Pool, favouring the same area as the previous five birds this autumn, the fence line on the left hand side of West Pool as you look at it.
The only other bird of note was the juvenile Osprey which has been present for a few days now.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Sutton Bingham - Wed 3 Sep

I spent a few hours at the reservoir this afternoon and it turned out to be a pretty profitable visit. Scanning the fence along the edge of West Pool I located a total of four Whinchats, my highest ever count of this species at Sutton Bingham as they tend to pass through in ones or twos. They were joined by a female Reed Bunting for a short while.
Walking from the car park south along the water's edge I was checking the Chiffchaffs feeding in the small sallows and willows when I noticed an Osprey perched on in a tree on the far bank! Unfortunately it did not hang around and soon took to the air and headed north, I was unable to relocate it. This is the third Osprey I've seen on the patch this year.
Just to the south of the Canoe Club I picked out a falcon hunting over the fields opposite, a Hobby! Within a few minutes it had been joined by two more with all three hawking insects.
Returning to the car park I failed to see anything else of note, but some cracking birds this afternoon.