Thursday, 26 November 2015

Sutton Bingham - Sun 22 Nov

Not even sure whether it's worth adding anything to my blog for today...three Lapwing and at least three Skylark passed overhead mid-morning and a Mute Swan was a new arrival...that's it!

Sutton Bingham - Sat 21 Nov

Another quiet day and a mid-afternoon visit today. Starting off at the dam a Kingfisher was rather obliging and there were still over a hundred (107 to be precise) Wigeon present. I also popped down to the southern end of the reservoir but only found a single Snipe. The highlight today was a flock of twenty Lapwing that flew north-west over the reservoir.

Sutton Bingham - Fri 20 Nov

A quick visit on the way home from work, finished slightly early so it was still light, produced a flock of 113 Wigeon, the highest count so far this winter, and four Teal all off the dam (though some of the Wigeon flock took flight and headed south). The gull roost was rather distant tonight so it was impossible to check them out.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Sutton Bingham - Sun 15 Nov

I spent most of the afternoon at Sutton Bingham today, arriving at around 2.30pm and staying until dark. Starting off at the dam I counted forty-two Wigeon on the bank, but nothing much else. A single Meadow Pipit was hanging around with a few Pied Wagtails in the horse paddock. There were a good number of commoner "garden" birds around the Fishing Lodge and several Redwing were present. Two Grey Wagtails were also seen around the dam and Lodge area.
I then stopped off for a wander around the outflow stream where a Bullfinch but in a brief appearance, my first on the patch for a while. Singles of Coal Tit and Goldcrest were in with a flock of Long-tailed Tits, but again I failed to discover anything scarcer.
Off then to the southern end of the reservoir and a walk down to Cotton Bridge. Three Snipe were flushed form the water's edge and five Tufted Ducks (one drake and four ducks) were on the water. A further eight Wigeon were also noted, twenty Teal were counted and a single Mandarin was seen. It was surprisingly quiet with regard to smaller birds, with nothing much seen at all.
Back to the northern end of the reservoir and I took a walk from the car park down towards the Canoe Club and back. The single Stonechat was again seen in the field between the car park and Canoe Club and two Meadow Pipits flew over. Surprise of the day came in the form of a rather decomposed corpse:
My initial thoughts were of an auk, but the head and feet were missing fact it was unfortunate that the bird was long dead. After sharing the pictures on Twitter, Guillemot seemed to be the general feeling, and I tend to agree with this. It is therefore a first for the patch and therefore a patch lifer...but I don't think it fair to count dead birds on one's list!
Rounding off the day with a check of the gulls I failed to find anything unusual amongst the thousand or so birds gathered to roost, so with the light finally gone it was back home.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Sutton Bingham - Sun 8 Nov

A brief visit on Saturday afternoon had failed to produce much, though the Wigeon flock had risen to eighty-six birds and a singles of Stonechat and Meadow Pipit were noted, but I was able to spend a bit more time at the reservoir on Sunday. That being said with the rain and wind it was not overly productive!
The area south of Cotton Bridge produced seven Snipe but nothing else, so it was back to the site of the hide where forty-eight Wigeon were present before flying off north, presumably to the dam (which I had already visited and failed to see anything much of note other than a lone Mute Swan and a drake Tufted Duck, both of which were new arrivals).
A walk from the Canoe Club to the car park and back enabled me to check the gathered gulls but there was nothing that unusual present, a single first-winter Common Gull the only variation from the norm, though gull numbers were around the one thousand bird mark.
Three Little Grebes were noted, with one near the site of the hide, another off the car park and the third on West Pool. The male and female Stonechat again put in an appearance on the fence line to the south of West Pool.
Despite poor weather I managed a total of 45 species today...why did I count them all, well it was the Patchwork Challenge "Patch Day" today and everyone is encouraged to do a daily list. A good excuse, not that I need one, to get out and do some birding at Sutton Bingham!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Sutton Bingham - Wed 4 Nov

I spent a bit of time this afternoon walking from the Canoe Club to the car park and back, checking what was about and also taking a look at West pool. The male and female Stonechat were again present on the fence line to the south of West Pool and three Snipe were resting in the vegetation on the edge of the pool itself. A couple of Little Grebes were also on West Pool, but keeping pretty well hidden most of the time. The field between the Canoe Club and car park held three Meadow Pipits and another Stonechat was in this area, another female-type bird, and a Snipe was flushed from the water's edge. There were loads of Redwing present this afternoon, well over a hundred birds, and a much smaller number of Fieldfare were also noted and singles of Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush were also seen. As time wore on the gull numbers started to increase, but I didn't find anything out of the ordinary amongst those gathered.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Sutton Bingham - Tue 3 Nov

A brief visit to the dam before work actually paid off this morning with two Pintail, a first winter male and a female, present alongside twenty-four Wigeon. Unfortunately I had left my phone in the car so couldn't get a record shot, and just as I decided to go back and get it the duck took flight and headed off. A couple of Meadow Pipits were also seen this morning as well as a single Kingfisher.
Sutton Bingham year list for 2015 now at 104 species.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Radipole RSPB - Sun 1 Nov

We set off to meet some family friends this afternoon and had decided on Radipole RSPB in Weymouth as it was about equidistant for all. It was not really a chance to do any birding, but I did note a few things such as Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler plus a flyby Kingfisher, a lone adult Mediterranean Gull and a solitary Stonechat. A few other things had been reported according to the sightings board in the visitor centre, but I missed them all...including a Short-eared Owl!

Sutton Bingham - Sun 1 Nov

A short visit late morning failed to produce much in very foggy conditions. Around the fishing Lodge and dam there was at least some activity with several "garden" birds present and a flock of forty-five Wigeon off the dam. The horse paddock and dam area also hosted at least twenty-two Meadow Pipits. A single Stonechat was still present on the southern edge of West pool and a Kingfisher was also noted. Unfortunately, just as I stumbled across a feeding flock of birds in the car park I had to head off to pick up the family, wonder if there was anything of note? I guess I'll never know!