Thursday, 30 July 2015

Sutton Bingham - Thu 30 Jul

Another early morning flying visit and again it paid dividends with another Little Ringed Plover on the northern causeway alongside a Redshank.
As I was watching these two waders through my 'scope I could hear a Greenshank calling overhead, but in the bright sunlight I couldn't actually see it but it sounded very close as it belted out it's typical "tchew-tchew-tchew" call.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Sutton Bingham - Wed 29 Jul

A few quick visits over the past few days have failed to produce much other than the odd Common Sandpiper and a female Tufted Duck that was present on Monday 27 July in the afternoon. However, a little bit of excitement this morning! I had a little time before work so popped in for a quick look around, starting off at the Canoe Club. This proved to be a waste of time, though a family of Blackcaps were quite obliging. So back to the northern causeway and as I got out of the car I noticed a small wader on the causeway, a Little Ringed Plover! A quick scan of the small patch of mud near the fishing jetty produced a second bird. I must admit, I'd been thinking Little Ringed Plover would be a good bet with the water levels dropping, and sure enough that proved to be the case.
Sutton Bingham year list for 2015 now at 95 species.

Update: A return visit late afternoon failed to produce the two Little Ringed Plovers, but the third-summer Great Black-backed Gull was again present.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Ham Wall RSPB - Sat 25 Jul

I felt like I needed my passport this afternoon as I ventured "off patch" to do a little birding on the Somerset Levels with a visit to Ham Wall.
As always it was a pleasant stroll on a very warm afternoon, and it speaks volumes about how much this reserve has come on when you wander around seeing species that would have sent your heart racing a few years ago but now barely attract a second glance. That being said, it is nice to get good views of quality birds.
A Bittern was seen in flight and dropped down in to reeds fairly close to where I was stood, so some good close views. The only Great White Egret I saw was a distant bird in flight. A female Marsh Harrier did a sortie over the reed beds and a lone Hobby was noted. On the deck a flock of Black-tailed Godwits was present from the second viewing platform, most were obscured, so I could only count fifteen birds. Three Lapwings were the only other waders I saw.
All in all an enjoyable afternoon out and about.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 25 Jul

A late morning visit failed to produce much, a Little Egret was on West Pool and three Common Sandpipers were noted, there seems to have been a trickle of Common Sandpipers passing through over the last week.
There was slightly more of note in the meadow between the car park and the Canoe Club, with a good number of butterflies on the wing. I notched up eight species including some very fresh Common Blues (I presume these are a second "batch"), and my first Gatekeepers of the year. A number of the Meadow Browns and Marbled Whites looked a little worst for wear!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Sutton Bingham - Wed 22 Jul

More of the same today, with a "new" Common Sandpiper seen near the canoe club and the long-staying third summer Great Black-backed Gull present on the northern causeway with a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull again.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Sutton Bingham - Thu 16 Jul

A quick visit on the way in to work produced the first returning Common Sandpipers of the "autumn" with two birds on the northern causeway.
Both birds were still present late afternoon, and the third summer Great Black-backed Gull was also hanging around still. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was a new arrival and two Little Egrets were feeding on the edges of West Pool.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Sutton Bingham - Thu 9 Jul

Another very quick visit today on my way home from work and I simply spent a few minutes scanning the area from the car whilst parked on the northern causeway. I wasn't expecting anything to be honest, so it was a real surprise when I suddenly noticed two Redshank on the causeway about fifty metres from the car. A July patch year tick! Just as I got the 'scope set up ready for an attempted photo they suddenly took flight and after a brief circuit headed off south down the reservoir and were lost to view. Having missed a fly-over Redshank last month and a single brief bird last year, it was nice to connect with one.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Sutton Bingham - Mon 6 Jul

A quick mid-afternoon visit was not very productive, though an adult Great Black-backed Gull was on one of the pontoons off the Sailing Club, no sign of yesterday's third-summer bird.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Sutton Bingham - Sun 5 Jul

An hour or so on the patch late morning produced a few things of interest though nothing exceptional. The third-summer Great Black-backed Gull was again on West Pool, a real monster of a bird!
Other gull action came in the form of a juvenile Mediterranean Gull which flew south, no idea where this came from, the nearest breeding colonies are on the south coast so obviously a displaced bird having a wander. A juvenile Black-headed Gull was again present having been first seen a few days ago and a very recently fledged Herring Gull was on the northern causeway, so small and downy I wonder whether a pair may have bred at the reservoir.
The southern end hosted a female Mandarin with six ducklings, all of which were pretty well grown.
A walk around Cotton Bridge again failed to deliver any Marsh Tits, so the species remains absent from my patch year list for 2015. Plenty of positive news though with fully fledged birds feeding in some numbers in the trees, so successful breeding for many of the commoner species.

Update: A flying visit on Monday morning found yesterday's juvenile Herring Gull nestled up to a parent bird which had died. The resident Carrion Crows were showing a bit of interest in the young bird, so I don't think it's chances of survival are high. A real reminder of how tough life can be.