Thursday, 31 December 2015

Sutton Bingham - Thu 31 Dec

My final visit to Sutton Bingham of the year failed to add anything to the year list. In fact it was very quiet with just four Siskin seen in the car park and one of the wintering Stonechats still present near the Canoe Club. I can't complain though as I've had come cracking birds on the patch this year, including a couple of patch ticks.
I'll be taking part in the Patchwork Challenge again in 2016, hopefully I'll get a chance to start the year list off tomorrow!
Sutton Bingham year list for 2015 now at 105 species.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 27 Dec

A couple of visits over the weekend failed to produce anything much of note. A Kestrel near the Fishing Lodge was a nice find as I'd not seen one on the patch since the summer.
At the southern end of the reservoir just thirty Wigeon were present with four Teal.
Two Stonechats remained and a single Meadow Pipit was noted.

Sutton Bingham - Wed 23 Dec

A fairly brief lunchtime visit to the dam produced a flock of eighty-seven Wigeon and a single drake Tufted Duck. The Barnacle Goose was present again and four Teal we also noted.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Sutton Bingham - Sun 20 Dec

A late afternoon visit produced nothing from the dam other than a fly-over Raven so I headed to the southern end where a very wary (and un-ringed) Barnacle Goose was present with the Wigeon flock (eighty birds present today). Despite me being on the opposite side of the reservoir from the wildfowl and a number of Cormorants, my present was obviously enough to freak them out and all the birds took flight. The Barnacle Goose was calling pretty much constantly as it circled overhead before eventually landing on the water in the company of a few Cormorants. Get these for cracking photos of the Barnacle Goose!
The only other birds of note at the southern end were four Teal.
I then popped up to the northern end where a Stonechat was on the fence line south of West Pool. I walked from the car park down to the Canoe Club and back seeing one of the other wintering Stonechats but nothing else.

Yeovil - Fri 18 Dec

I popped in to Yeovil this afternoon and paid a visit to Yeovil Openspace, an area I'd heard of but never before visited. Accessed from Abbey Manor it is a small green area with a small stream flowing through it. So why was I here? Well, for a bird of course. Two Yellow-browed Warblers had amazingly been found in this area a couple of days earlier so I simply had to take a look. I spent about twenty minutes at the site during which time I had great views of both Yellow-browed Warblers. Also present a very vocal Siberian Chiffchaff (plus a second bird which looked like a very good candidate for tristis). There were a few "normal" Chiffchaffs also present, at least four, and I also located a Firecrest, which was a real surprise too. The area was a real oasis for birds and amazing that so many quality birds had turned up together in the middle of Yeovil!

Sutton Bingham - Wed 16 Dec

A few bits and pieces at the reservoir this afternoon, though nothing that different from recent visits. The Wigeon flock numbers some 118 individuals, there was nothing else of note on the water. A single Stonechat was again in the field between the car park and Canoe Club and a Meadow Pipit was in the same field. Finally, a Kingfisher was noted near the Canoe Club.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Sutton Bingham - Mon 14 Dec

There was just about enough light to warrant a quick stop prior to work and this paid off with a drake Pintail viewable from the northern causeway. It was rather nervy and when I left it had moved in to the vegetation below the car park bank. Now I know my photos have never been that good, but I've a new phone and the camera on it is really pants through a 'scope...but here goes!
A couple of brief visits over the weekend produced a flock of ten Siskin in the car park on Saturday afternoon and a Reed Bunting near the Canoe Club on Sunday evening.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Sutton Bingham - Wed 9 Dec

An afternoon visit was not really that productive at all. Highlight was a flock of thirty-one Lapwing that flew through at 4pm, other than that the wintering Stonechat was still on the fence line between the car park and Canoe Club. Some thirty or so Wigeon were viewable from the northern causeway.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

East Coker WTW - Sun 6 Dec

After my morning visit to the reservoir I quickly stopped off at East Coker WTW as I'd not visited the site for a long time. There were plenty of birds about, including three Chiffchaffs, but nothing that unusual. A couple of Goldcrests and Treecreepers were feeding with a mixed tit flock and the sewage beds held a few Chaffinches and Pied Wagtails but there was little else other than a lot of nettle stings...that will serve me right for wearing shorts in December!

Sutton Bingham - Sun 6 Dec

I spent a good couple of hours on the patch this morning and covered pretty much every area from the north right down to the southern end. Starting at the dam again there was no sign of yesterday's Scaup, but the Wigeon flock had increased slightly to 127 birds and there were two Meadow Pipits and a couple of Mistle Thrush in the horse paddock.
Round to the northern causeway and the male and female Stonechat were back on the fence line to the south of West Pool, I'd not seen them for a week or so. Another Meadow Pipit flew over and dropped in to the field.
A walk around the car park produced a flock of a dozen Siskin and they put on quite a show. There was nothing else of note around here though so I headed down to the southern end of the reservoir and checked out the area around Cotton Bridge. A total of fifty Teal were counted and a couple of Marsh Tits showed well.
On the water half a dozen Common Gulls dropped in.
A return visit mid-afternoon added a fly-over female Kestrel, my first on the patch for a couple of months, and the third wintering Stonechat was back on the fence line between the car park and the Canoe Club.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 5 Dec

With a little time on my hands I stopped off at the reservoir on my way home from work and decided that a view from the dam might be my best bet. As it happens this proved to be the correct decision. The Wigeon flock had increased to 125 birds and amongst the flock a single drake Teal. Further scrutiny located a aythya, but with the distance of the flock and the fierce winds getting anything on it proved tricky to say the least. I knew immediately that is was not a Tufted Duck as the head was big and round with no tuft present, so was it another weird hybrid? After some perseverance I finally managed better views and this clinched the identification, a first winter drake Scaup and not a hybrid of any first at the reservoir for many years. Unfortunately, distance and conditions meant there was no chance of getting a record shot.