Monday, 28 September 2015

Sutton Bingham - Sun 27 Sept

A brief visit on Saturday morning had produced a flyover Skylark and Grey Wagtail and a couple of Meadow Pipits and an equally brief visit on Sunday morning turned up the first Wigeon of the "winter", a single female bird.
However, on my way back from Abbotsbury I popped in to the reservoir and spent a bit of time around the Fishing Lodge and dam as this area had been quite productive at a similar time of day a week ago. This turned out to be the case again today as there were loads of birds around, mainly wagtails and finches. At least eight Linnets were in with around thirty or so Goldfinches and a single Meadow Pipit was loosely associating with the Pied Wagtails and White Wagtails (of which there were at least nine individuals). However, the highlight was a non-breeding Yellow Wagtail which showed really well in the horse paddock (which unfortunately is not really that viewable from public rights of way).
 This was the first Yellow Wagtail I'd seen on the patch for a little while, my only record last year was of a bird calling as it flew over, so it was nice to get good views of one on the deck and it rounded off a good day.
Sutton Bingham year list for 2015 now at 102 species. This equals my 2013 patch year list.

Abbotsbury Swannery - Sun 27 Sep

A lovely afternoon so I headed off to the coast and paid a visit to the Swannery at Abbotsbury as I'd not really made the most of my membership recently. An enjoyable stroll around the grounds produced the expected species...such as Mute Swan! There were already good numbers of duck present, with at least thirty Pintail on The Fleet and large numbers of Teal and Shoveler as well as Pochard and Tufted Duck. As I walked along a Hobby flew in from he north passed just over my head, caught a flying insect, and then zoomed off...great stuff. Scanning the far shore I managed to locate the juvenile Osprey which had been present for a week or so. It was sat on a post tucking in to a recently caught fish. A Kingfisher flew on to the adjacent post, but didn't hang around. Having missed two Ospreys at Sutton Bingham this autumn, it was nice to see one, albeit a bit distant and with it's bum pointing straight at me!
I was unable to locate the single Scaup which had also been present recently, but it was nice to visit somewhere different for a change.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Ham Wall RSPB - Sun 20 Apr

I made a quick trip up to Ham Wall RSPB reserve this afternoon. It has been quite some time since last I walked out on to the reserve and there have been quite a few changes...most noticeably the vast increase in the amount of vegetation which meant seeing anything from either of the viewing points was very difficult. I did, however, manage to pick out a couple of Great White Egrets and my first Wigeon of the autumn were also seen. The only other notable sightings were of a single Hobby near the car park and two fly-over Siskin.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 20 Sep

I was up early so popped down to Sutton Bingham to see if anything had dropped in overnight. Arriving on the patch at 7.00am there was a blanket of fog covering the reservoir! I persevered though and spent a bit of time around the Water Treatment Works (where I didn't' really see anything much) before moving up to the dam as the early morning sun started to burn away the mist.
A single Common Sandpiper was still present whilst overhead a Meadow Pipit and two Snipe were an indication that there was a little bit of migration going on. A Raven did a very obliging and close fly-past and a couple of White Wagtails were noted.
I then had a quick check of the reservoir from the northern causeway before moving on down to the Canoe Club. From here I noticed some small birds on the wire fence along the back of the field on the opposite side of the road. I managed to get close enough to 'scope the birds and discovered two Whinchats and a Stonechat. They showed really well for several minutes before disappearing, scanning to the right I soon realised why as a rather smart male Sparrowhawk had landed on the hedge! I did manage a couple of record shots of the Sparrowhawk and one of the Whinchats.
Continuing to the southern end of the reservoir I failed to find anything else so headed back home for breakfast. I quick return visit late morning produced a small flock of ten Siskin in the car park.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 19 Sep

A brief visit to the reservoir mid-afternoon was surprisingly productive. I concentrated on the area around the dam and Fishing Lodge where the horse paddock hosted a large flock of Goldfinches and three Linnets. Amongst a large number of Pied Wagtails were around half a dozen White Wagtails and five Grey Wagtails were on the dam. The dam also produced three Little Egrets (my highest count for quite some time) and two Common Sandpipers. A Kingfisher provided a splash of colour.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Sutton Bingham - Sun 13 Sep

I was able to spend a bit of time at the reservoir today. A morning visit consisted of a stroll along the water's edge from the car park to the site of the hide and back again. Whilst during the afternoon I made a quick check of the dam area.
The undoubted highlight of the day was a Honey Buzzard that flew in from the north, drifted purposefully overhead, before vanishing to the south at midday. This is only my second ever sighting of Honey Buzzard at Sutton Bingham, and was a much better view than my previous sighting. I watched the bird through my bins of about three minutes, making note of the typical long-tailed and protruding head profile. The wings were held in a dropping manner in flight rather than the shallow "V" of a Common Buzzard and the whole behaviour and "feeling" of the bird was consistent with Honey Buzzard rather than Common Buzzard.
Other birds seen on the patch today included a Kingfisher near the Canoe Club, a Siskin in the car park and a Little Egret on the dam. A couple of Skylarks were heard calling as they passed overhead. Finally, two drake Mandarin were seen in flight before settling on the water at the southern end of the reservoir.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Sutton Bingham - Fri 11 Sep

A visit after work was pretty interesting, with a drake Shoveler being the highlight. The bird was seen in flight from Hyde Farm coming in from the west it flew towards the dam, but a quick drive round to the Fishing Lodge failed to relocate it.
However, the horse paddock near the Fishing Lodge hosted a mixed flock of finches with at least half a dozen Linnets and forty Goldfinches with smaller numbers of Greenfinch and Chaffinch. The field also held five or so White Wagtails amongst a few Pied Wagtails and three Grey Wagtails were on the dam itself.
A quick check of the southern end proved fruitless and nothing was on show from the northern causeway either.

Sutton Bingham - Tue 8 Sep

The only birds of note this evening were two Whinchats on the "usual" fence line to the south of West Pool.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Sutton Bingham - Mon 7 Sep

A brief visit on my way home, in fact it was probably less than two minutes, produced a single Whinchat and a single Stonechat on the fence line to the south of West Pool.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 6 Sep

A mid morning visit to the reservoir finally produced my 100th species of bird on the patch this year, as, after eight months of searching, I managed to connect with Marsh Tit! In fact, at least two birds were seen really well in the area around Cotton Bridge. That whole area was buzzing with birds, with good numbers of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, plus Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch and Treecreeper.
Overhead a small kettle of six Buzzards was joined by a couple of Ravens and a brief juvenile Hobby was a nice surprise.
At the northern end of the reservoir I spent a bit of time at the dam, where a Little Egret flew over, and a fair few Swallows passed through during the hour I was present.
I also managed to get a photograph of one of the many dragonflies whizzing around, I believe this is a Migrant Hawker!
Sutton Bingham year list for 2015 now at 100 species.