Saturday, 31 October 2015

Sutton Bingham - Fri 30 Oct

An hour on patch late afternoon before the light failed proved to be somewhat rewarding despite failing to add anything to the patch year list. A total of sixty-nine Wigeon were counted as a few small flocks flew south over and appeared to land at the extreme southern end of the reservoir. Despite my best efforts I couldn't find any rare warblers but a Chiffchaff was seen and a flock of sixteen Long-tailed Tits was busy feeding along the water's edge. A male and female Stonechat were on the fence line south of West Pool and another was near the Canoe Club. Other bits and bobs seen this afternoon included a single Little Grebe off the Sailing Club and a Kingfisher. A few winter thrushes passed through, with Redwings outnumbering Fieldfares. A Raven was heard croaking away but was not seen and a Treecreeper was a surprise find in the willows on the edge of the reservoir near the car park.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Sutton Bingham - Wed 28 Oct

A quick stop off at the northern causeway before work this morning produced my first winter thrushes of the autumn with two Fieldfares and a single Redwing passing over. A small flock of five Mistle Thrushes also passed overhead along with two Meadow Pipits. The only thing of note on the deck was a flock of seventy-eight Canada Geese feeding in the newly harvested maize field at Hyde Farm.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Sutton Bingham - Tue 27 Oct

A few short visits over the past ten days have failed to provide anything worth writing about (though a male and female Stonechat had been seen a few times to the south of West Pool). However, this morning I popped up to the dam and had a quick look around before work. A flock of twenty-three Wigeon were present on the grass bank in the north-eastern corner whilst on the dam wall at least twenty Meadow Pipits were counted. A couple of Linnets and a Mistle Thrush were mixed in with the Meadow Pipits and that was really about it. Out on the water, a Cormorant was noted jumping right out of the water when feeding, much as a Shag would. Annoyingly I did not have my 'scope today as I had a courtesy car whilst my car was having an MOT so I could not get the detail I needed on the bird in question. Hopefully it will stick around so that I can get a chance for a second look, but I expect it is just an overly energetic Cormorant!!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Sutton Bingham - Fri 16 Oct

A visit after work concentrated on the gull roost which I viewed from the dam tonight. Numbers are growing rapidly and my rough counts are probably well short of the actual number of birds present (and more were arriving as I left). Highlight was a single adult Yellow-legged Gull but other than four Common Gulls there was not much more of note. Herring Gulls were by far the most numerous with at least six hundred present, Lesser Black-backed Gulls numbered around two hundred and at least one hundred and fifty Black-headed Gulls were noted.
PS: I didn't get a chance to do much in the way of patch birding over the weekend, but a quick visit on Saturday 17 October produced a Snipe and two Teal.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Sutton Bingham - Sun 11 Oct

I finally managed to get a prolonged period of time at the reservoir this afternoon and as a result managed to cover most areas. Yesterday's Little Grebe and Stonechat were both still on and around West Pool, but that was pretty much it from the northern end of the reservoir.
So off then to the extreme southern end of Sutton Bingham and a walk around Cotton Bridge which produced a fair sized mixed feeding flock consisting of the commoner tit species plus three Chiffchaffs, a Marsh Tit and a couple of Goldcrests. Overhead a pair of Ravens passed by, and a sub-adult female Peregrine whizzed through causing quite a scir amongst the various gathered gulls.
Also overhead, a single Siskin and a couple of Meadow Pipits.
On the water, Wigeon numbers had increased to twenty-seven birds and the first returning Teal of the winter was present alongside a single Tufted Duck and drake Mandarin. Highlight on the wildfowl front though was a drake Pochard that flew in from the north and after a couple of circuits landed on the water.
This was only the third Pochard I'd seen on patch in the past three years, it is somewhat of a patch rarity nowadays, and a much welcome patch year tick.
Back then to the dam and Fishing Lodge for a quick look and the horse paddock held three Meadow Pipits amongst the wagtails and there were flocks of around fifty Goldfinch and thirty Linnets to be seen.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 10 Oct

An hour on the patch late afternoon produced a Little Grebe on West Pool and a male Stonechat on the fence to the south of West Pool. A quick drive to the southern yielded two female-type Mandarin and three Tufted Ducks (two females and a male). I then took a walk from the Canoe Club to the car park and back. A nice large flock of Long-tailed Tits contained a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrests, but nothing rarer and three Meadow Pipits were also noted.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Sutton Bingham - Sun 4 Oct

A very busy weekend meant that I'd not had the chance to do anything much in the way of birding until mid-afternoon on Sunday. As a result I didn't have the time to twitch the Red-throated Pipit in Gloucestershire or the Ridgeways' Cackling Goose in Devon so instead spent a hour or so at Sutton Bingham with the sole intention of finding something decent myself. I failed!
Starting at the dam I did see a few bits and pieces, in fact this was the best spot to be on patch this afternoon, with a couple of Chiffchaff, three Linnet and four Meadow Pipits alongside a good number of Pied Wagtails and at least one White Wagtail and two Grey Wagtails. I also saw a couple of Kingfishers.
Moving round to the northern causeway I found my first Common Gull of the winter, but that was it. So down to the southern end where six Wigeon were present and a single Little Grebe was seen as well as another Kingfisher.
I rounded off my visit with a walk from the Canoe Club to the car park and back. I large mixed flock of tits held a couple of Goldcrests and a Treecreeper, but no hoped for scarce warblers. I did flush a smallish bird from the waterside vegetation but it swam quickly away before I could get anything on it, the mass of plants obscured pretty much everything. Despite searching I failed to relocate it, but I was left thinking it could only have been a Water Rail...shame really as it would've been a patch year tick!