Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Wed 31 Aug

A bit of time available before work so I popped in to the reservoir and headed straight for the southern end to see if anything was about on the mud. Setting up the scope I counted six Common Sandpipers and a single Green Sandpiper along with five Teal. A fair number of Mallards were also gathered with around one hundred birds present. It was encouraging to see three Little Grebes (I have a feeling they have bred on site this year) and a total of four Little Egrets were noted.
Just as I was getting ready to head off to work I heard a wader call and the Green Sandpiper had taken to air, why? An Osprey was flying in from the south and it passed over my head towards the northern end of the reservoir, result! It soon came back to the southern end and I enjoyed watching it for several minutes before it drifted off south-west and was lost to view behind some trees.
A Raven was perched on one of the pylons and the Shelduck was still on the northern causeway.
Sutton Bingham year list 2016 now at 108 species.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Tue 30 Aug

I got a call from the warden mid-morning telling me that an Osprey had just been seen from the Fishing Lodge, so I popped over for a quick visit during my lunch hour...but there was no sign of the bird. I am guessing, though don't know for sure, that it may have arrived last night and when the overnight fog lifted it simply headed off. It was almost a year to the day since I missed the last fly-through Osprey on patch!
The southern end of the reservoir produced a Green Sandpiper and eight Common Sandpipers. Two Little Egrets were on West Pool and the Shelduck was still about.

Sutton Bingham - Mon 29 Aug

A visit during the morning was somewhat productive with a Peregrine seen on one of the pylons at the southern end as well as two Mute Swans which appeared overnight (and were gone the next day). A couple of Common Sandpipers were seen and two Little Egrets were still present. Three Mandarin were noted and the long-staying Shelduck was still knocking around. Another Clouded Yellow was seen today.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 28 Aug

The Shelduck was still on the northern causeway today, it really does look settled! West Pool hosted a female Tufted Duck, my first on the patch for a few months, and a Little Grebe also. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was amongst the larger gulls present.
At the southern end of the reservoir two Green Sandpipers and five Common Sandpipers were noted and other birds of internet today included a Kingfisher and a Little Egret.
Finally, a Clouded Yellow was seen, my first of the year.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 27 Aug

A Greenshank was present on West Pool briefly late morning before flying south.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Tue 23 Aug

A brief stop this morning could only produce two Common Sandpipers and three Little Egrets. A few visits over the past couple of days have not generated anything new, with at least one Great Black-backed Gull still hanging around, mainly on West Pool.
The Shelduck has still been around the northern causeway most days and Common Sandpipers have been present daily in small numbers. The dam produced a flock of forty Pied Wagtails on Sun 21 Aug and twenty Mistle Thrushes on Mon 22 Aug.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 20 Aug

An early morning visit produced a Greenshank (unsure whether it was last night's bird or not). Just as I was about to get one of my high-quality photos for this blog I heard another Greenshank call and two more birds flew through heading south, the bird on the deck decided it wanted company and flew off with no picture I'm afraid! amazingly a return visit much later in the day produced yet another Greenshank near the car park. Other than the Greenshank (which numbered four today) it was more of the same today.

Sutton Bingham - Fri 19 Aug

A visit during the afternoon produced a single Greenshank at the southern end and four Common Sandpipers knocking around. There were two Little Egrets still and a single Great Black-backed Gull and the Shelduck was still present and coming to bread!

Sutton Bingham - Thu 18 Aug

An hour on site before 8.00am turned out to be a really good decision as a mad couple of minutes produced a fly-over Tree Pipit which passed over the northern causeway, closely followed a few minutes later by a female-type Garganey that flew from the north-eastern corner down towards the southern end of the reservoir...two patch year ticks in almost as many minutes!
A "new" Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler were in vegetation on the edge of West Pool and the three adult Great Black-backed Gulls were present. Three Common Sandpipers were noted with a couple of Little Egrets also hanging around. The Shelduck was on the northern causeway again and seems to be becoming rather tame!
Sutton Bingham year list 2016 now at 107 species.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Tue 16 Aug

I managed about ninety minutes at the reservoir before work this morning, and whilst I didn't add anything to the year list I still managed to see a few decent birds.
Starting at the dam I noted two Common Sandpipers, a couple of Teal and there were still two Little Egrets present.
Round then to the northern causeway where West Pool hosted another Common Sandpiper, one more Little Egret and the Shelduck was still hanging around.
Finally, a stop at the southern end of the reservoir where two Hobbies were seen and two more Common Sandpipers were present. There were good numbers of warblers feeding with the pick being single Sedge Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat alongside a few Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs. At least three Reed Warblers were still around with an adult seen carrying food, whether this is for a second brood or not I don't know.

Sutton Bingham - Mon 15 Aug

A quick visit in the morning was pretty rubbish, with a single Mandarin off the northern causeway being the only thing of note. It was a slightly different later in the day as a visit after work produced a patch year tick in the form of a Lapwing viewable from the northern causeway.
Also present this afternoon, a Hobby which flew over heading west, and the Shelduck which was still loitering around the northern end.
Sutton Bingham year list 2016 now at 105 species.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Sun 14 Aug

It's been a really quiet weekend on the patch, nothing much to report from yesterday and today was not much better. The Shelduck was still lingering around the northern causeway and two adult Great Black-backed Gulls were on West Pool. Other bits and pieces today included a couple of Common Sandpipers and three Little Egrets.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Fri 12 Aug

A mix of more of the same and then a little less this morning. The Shelduck was still present, though had moved to the north-eastern corner away from the northern causeway. A total of five Common Sandpipers were counted, with three off the dam and singles on West Pool and at the southern end. Two Little Egrets were still loitering near the Sailing Club. A couple of Hobbies were seen at the southern end as were a couple of Reed Warblers and a male Reed Bunting. Finally, a pair of Linnet were seen on the edge of West Pool.
A flying visit on my way home from work turned up a surprise in the form of a female Teal!
Not something I was expecting this time of year.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Thu 11 Aug

More interest at the reservoir this morning with a couple of Oystercatchers present near the Fishing Lodge at 7.30am before doing a little fly-around and settling on the dam.
At least four Common Sandpipers were noted, three on the main reservoir and another on West Pool. Two adult Great Black-backed Gulls were again on West Pool and the Shelduck was on the northern causeway seems pretty unbothered by people.
I managed some cracking views of a Hobby as it whizzed over, completely spooking a Common Sandpiper (which managed to escape the Hobby). Finally, a family party of seven Mistle Thrushes were noted.
A return visit in the evening produced a couple of Hobbies flying over West Pool. A quick look around the southern end of the reservoir produced a Green Sandpiper seen briefly in flight and a couple of Mandarin. A Raven flew over and a couple of Kingfishers were present.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Wed 10 Aug

A visit before work was pretty productive with two Common Sandpipers being seen from the dam alongside a couple of Little Egrets. A single Green Sandpiper as present on West Pool and the Shelduck was again on the northern causeway whilst at the southern end of the reservoir another Common Sandpiper was seen. A Kingfisher put in a typically brief appearance and a couple of Ravens were atop one of the pylons.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Tue 9 Aug

Despite a search of the shoreline the Spotted Sandpiper has been favouring I drew a blank today. A Shelduck was on the northern causeway and is presumably the same bird that was present at the southern end on Sunday. I even managed a photo of it that is recognisable as being a Shelduck!
A look around the southern end of the reservoir produced a single Kingfisher and two Common Sandpipers, one opposite the "hide" and a second near the car park. A Reed Warbler was seen with a juvenile bird in tow. Up near Hyde Farm it was good to see a family of Willow Warblers, the young birds look so bright this time of year.
A brief stop late afternoon produced two Great Black-backed Gulls on West Pool but I was unable to find anything else of note.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Mon 8 Aug

A visit before produced an adult, presumably the same long-staying individual, Great Black-backed Gull on West Pool. The Spotted Sandpiper was still present and showed well, if distantly, for the duration of my visit but in an area with no public access. I've been desperate to get at least a semi-decent record shot of the bird, but it keeps just that little bit too far away. This is the best I could manage:
If you look really closely you may just be able to make out that a) it is a bird, and b) it does have spots!
At least two Common Sandpipers were also present and two Little Egrets were still about.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 7 Aug

A mid-morning visit failed to locate the Spotted Sandpiper but a juvenile Coot was somewhat surprising as I am pretty sure they have not bred on site this year. Two Little Egrets were again present.
I popped in to the southern end of the reservoir in the afternoon for a quick look and found a female Shelduck, was not expecting that! A single Common Sandpiper was also seen.

Minsmere RSPB - Sat 6 Aug

A big decision today and a long drive to Suffolk to twitch a Purple Swamphen that had been present since last weekend. To cut a long story short, as it happened the bird did a bunk on Friday night so it was a massive dip, but we gave it a go and actually had a nice couple of hours wandering around this great reserve. I had left home at 5am picking up Oli and John en route.
Pretty much the first thing we saw as we left the car park was a Painted Lady amongst commoner butterflies on one of the buddleia bushes, and then off to South Hide where around 150 birders were waiting patiently and staring at a reed-fringed pool that was devoid of any mega rarities!
A couple of Bearded Tits were seen whilst we waited but after by 10.30am there had been no sign so we took a walk around the reserve, knowing if it was seen we would easily be able to get back. As we reached the sluice a juvenile Wheatear put on a good show and single Whinchats and Stonechats were seen. On then to the hide overlooking the East Scrape where there were good numbers of waders and an amazing forty or so Little Gulls. Waders included a single Knot, three Green Sandpipers, a couple of Little Ringed Plovers and Ringed Plovers, several Dunlin and loads of Black-tailed Godwits and Avocet. As well as that at least four Spotted Redshank were noted and a single Turnstone. A great selection of stuff.
We continued the circular walk around Minsmere, pausing to try and see the breeding Stone Curlews, but all we could find were three Curlews and a pair of Lesser Whitethroats. Loads of Sand Martins were over their nest burrows and a couple of Marsh Harriers were seen high over the reeds.
At 1pm we decided to call it quits and drove back home, seeing a couple of Red Kites on the way. A long day out and I drove over 500 miles, we didn't see the bird we wanted to see, but had a good trip out nonetheless.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Fri 5 Aug

A quick visit pre-work and a quick look from the northern causeway and then the site of the old hide produced nothing at all! So I quickly drove round to the dam where a couple of Common Sandpipers and two Little Egrets were noted. I then managed to find yesterday's Spotted Sandpiper on the far bank and it did look rather smashing in the morning sun. Unfortunately one of the Little Egrets spooked it and I failed to find it before I had to leave. Anyway, good to know it's still about.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Sutton Bingham - Thu 4 Aug

It's been really quiet at Sutton Bingham for about a week with the only highlight being a Peregrine that was present on a pylon at the southern end yesterday. But the thing is with a local patch you persevere so I popped in before work this morning anyway, though expectations were low. Nothing from the northern causeway so I thought I'd have a quick look from the dam. A Common Sandpiper was seen from the Fishing Lodge and as I walked along the dam I bumped in to the warden and after a quick chat I headed back towards the car.
Another Common Sandpiper popped up and then I could not believe my eyes as a summer-plumaged Spotted Sandpiper flew in and landed on a buoy right in front of me. Brilliant views, and then panic as I realised I'd left my phone in the no chance for a photo. I ran back to get it and just as I got back to my scope the bird flew! What followed was a manic half an hour trying to relocate the bird, which I eventually did but it was really flighty so I was unable to get a photo. There were four Common Sandpipers also present this morning, all of which were fairly obliging, shame the Spotted Sandpiper did come close enough to me when I actually had my phone, but that's a valuable lesson learnt!
A return visit on my way home from work failed to produce the Spotted Sandpiper, it had not been seen since 2pm (and wasn't seen again before dark apparently). I did note a couple of Little Egrets and more surprisingly, two Swifts flew over.