Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Sutton Bingham - Wed 31 Dec

So my final visit to the patch for 2014, and I managed about twenty minutes after work which just about gave me time to scan the gull roost. I picked out four Mediterranean Gulls amongst the masses, three adult birds and a second-winter. Not much else of interest this evening, though a flock of 103 Wigeon were off the dam. A nice little visit to round off what has been an enjoyable year concentrating on Sutton Bingham rather than travelling far and wide for year ticks.
Year list for 2014 now at 205 species.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Sutton Bingham - Mon 29 Dec

I managed to get to the reservoir late afternoon and was able to check out the gull roost. A single adult Mediterranean Gull was located, but the pick was an adult Yellow-legged Gull. A couple of Kingfishers were seen and thirty-six Wigeon were off the dam.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 28 Dec

A visit during the afternoon produced five male Bullfinches, I didn't see any female birds amongst them, feeding in trees at the Canoe Club, and three Shoveler (two drakes and a duck) were with half a dozen Wigeon at the southern end.
There were very few gulls present today!

Ham Wall RSPB - Sat 27 Dec

With the excesses of Christmas over and done with for another twelve months, it was a trip up to the Avalon Marshes this morning and a visit to Ham Wall. Making use of the very smart new car park I walked out to the second viewing platform, seeing a small group of four Lesser Redpolls feeding in alders along the way. Form the second viewing platform I saw two Marsh Harriers but surprisingly few wintering duck.
Walking back to the first viewing platform a Bittern provided us with a very fine fly-by view and was certainly the highlight of a quiet but enjoyable visit.

Sutton Bingham - Tue 23 Dec

A flying visit on the way in to work produced a pair of Raven and a Meadow Pipit flyting over West Pool and a Kingfisher perched in one of the small trees that over hand the water.
Returning later in the day I had a bit of time available so checked out the southern end of the reservoir, an area I'd been ignoring of late. Two Water Rail were heard calling and fifteen Snipe were flushed from the water's edge. A flock of around seventy Teal were keeping company with twenty or so Wigeon but were very flighty and almost impossible to scan fully for anything different.
I then set off for the northern end of the reservoir and checked out the gull roost. I could only find a couple of Mediterranean Gulls tonight so decided to pop across to the dam to see if anything was loitering in that area.
From the dam a further eighty-nine Wigeon were present but the only other bird of note was a single Kingfisher, and with the light nearly gone it was time to go home.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Sutton Bingham - Mon 22 Dec

Pretty much more of the same during a brief visit to check out the gull roost this evening. Three Mediterranean Gulls were present tonight, an adult and two second-winters, so definitely some different birds today, and they took a bit of finding amongst two and a half thousand Black-headed Gulls. Some fifty or so Common Gulls were present and Herring Gulls were in to four figures with an estimated one thousand in the roost.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 21 Dec

A little under an hour on the patch this morning and all the interest, if you can go that far, was from the dam. A single drake Wigeon was the only duck of interest and a Little Egret was feeding on the water's edge. The horse paddock hosted at least a hundred Redwing and the feeders at the Fishing Lodge were attracting good numbers of commoner birds, including a small flock of a dozen Greenfinches, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Treecreeper.

Sutton Bingham - Fri 19 Dec

Quick visit on the way home tonight and just three Mediterranean Gulls in the roost, a single adult and two first-winters. Around fifty Common Gulls also present in the roost tonight. A drake Tufted Duck was new in on West Pool, where are all the diving duck? Twenty-seven Wigeon were off the dam and three Kingfishers were also seen.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Sutton Bingham - Sun 14 Dec

What a difference a day makes! Another late afternoon visit and today I pulled up on the northern causeway and noticed a fair number of gulls gathered on West Pool, somewhat unusual as they tend to drop in straight on to the main reservoir. Scanning this flock it soon became obvious that the vast majority were Common Gulls, with around a hundred present as well as twenty or so more on the main reservoir. I usually only have small counts of Common Gull at Sutton Bingham, so a three figure count was impressive. Another surprise came in the form of seven Mediterranean Gulls also on West Pool, and posing very well...unfortunately the battery in my phone was dead so no chance of getting a few records shots. Turning my back on West Pool I scanned the main reservoir and was amazed to find more Mediterranean Gulls...the final total was twenty-three birds, nineteen adults, a single second-winter and three first-winter birds. This more than doubles my previous site record count of Mediterranean Gulls. The only other birds of note tonight were a couple of Snipe that flew up from the edge of West Pool, presumably to visit the local fields to feed.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 13 Dec

A late afternoon visit turned up two adult Mediterranean Gulls in the roost, but not much else. I had a fleeting view of a Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail flew over. Other than that it was pretty quiet, though there were a good number of Cormorants present tonight, some sixty birds were counted.

Sutton Bingham - Fri 12 Dec

I managed to get away from work earlier than usual this evening, which meant I was just about able to get to Sutton Bingham before dark. Due to road closures I had to go round the houses and as a result made for the dam. Scoping the water I counted a flock of one hundred Wigeon, my highest count at the site for quite some time, and amongst them a single drake Shoveler. The gull roost must have numbered at least 2500 birds, mainly Herring and Black-headed Gulls, the light was not good enough to investigate the birds closer. Twenty-six Great Crested Grebes had gathered off the dam to roost also. A quick drive round to West pool produced a couple of Snipe flying off but nothing else.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Sutton Bingham - Wed 3 Dec

I was able to spend a bit of time at the reservoir this afternoon, and it actually paid off as I found a drake Pintail amongst a flock of forty Wigeon viewable from the northern causeway. A single drake Teal and three Gadwall (two drakes and a duck) were also present. So a mini wildfowl influx today!
I then took a walk from the Canoe Club south along the water's edge as far as the "hide" and back again. Not a lot to be seen though I did discover a first-winter Stonechat that was pretty active as it flitted from perch to perch. A Kingfisher also put on quite a show as it sat in a small willow overhanging the water (a second Kingfisher was seen briefly in flight). Overhead just a single Meadow Pipit was noted.
Sutton Bingham year list for 2014 now at 108 species.