Thursday, 27 October 2016

Sutton Bingham - Wed 26 Oct

A brief early morning visit was very productive, with some obvious visible migration in the form of eight Skylark, eleven Fieldfare (my first of the autumn at the reservoir) and fourteen Meadow Pipits through. A Stonechat was still around the fringes of West Pool where a very late Common Sandpiper was feeding. A single Snipe was also noted on West Pool alongside a Grey Wagtail.
Returning later in the day I had a bit of time to spare so started at the southern end where a Little Grebe was present and Teal numbers had increased to 131 birds (no Wigeon seen today).
I then drove round to the Fishing Lodge and checked out the geese (something I often do...just in case!) and today it paid off with a first-winter type Eurasian White-fronted Goose present amongst the Canada Geese. Amazingly I then found a single Barnacle Goose which was another new arrival. So two quality patch year ticks in the space of a couple of minutes. Unfortunately both geese kept their distance and the Eurasian White-fronted Goose in particular was rather mobile with the Canada Goose flock, I eventually managed to get a little closer as the flock moved to the southern end of the reservoir, but my pictures, taken in fading light, do not do it justice.
Obviously the top photo its the very distant Barnacle Goose, and the bottom three the Eurasian White-fronted Goose hanging around with the Canada Geese. Did I mention it was distant and the light was poor?
Sutton Bingham year list 2016 now at 118 species.

Sutton Bingham - Tue 25 Oct

A quick check of the southern end of the reservoir on the way home produced just fifty Teal and two Wigeon, a real drop in numbers, but the female Pintail (presumably the same one) was back after going AWOL for several days. A Snipe flew over heading south and a Peregrine was atop one of the pylons.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Sutton Bingham - Sun 23 Oct

A quick check of the car park produced a Marsh Tit, a bird I'd not seen in this area of the reservoir before. The Stonechat was still at West Pool.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 22 Oct

A late afternoon visit produced a bit of variety. I concentrated on the southern end of the reservoir where 134 Teal and forty Wigeon were present, though nothing more unusual was amongst them. A pair of Mute Swans were new in and two first-winter Mediterranean Gulls and a Common Gull flew through heading south. A couple of Kingfishers were noted and a Stonechat was still hanging around West Pool.

Sutton Bingham - Fri 21 Oct

A female type Mandarin was seen in flight over the southern end of the reservoir late afternoon, the only other birds of note were three Kingfishers and fourteen fly-through Meadow Pipits.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Sutton Bingham - Wed 19 Oct

More of the same during this afternoon's trip to the reservoir. Starting at the southern end a quick count of the wildfowl produced forty-seven Wigeon and ninety Teal plus three Little Grebes that were also present.
Two Stonechats were still midway between the "hide" and Canoe Club with a third individual at West Pool. A single Kingfisher was the only other bird of note, though a little group of four Treecreepers were near the car park with a Goldcrest and Chiffchaff. Finally, my first patch Sparrowhawk for several months was soaring overhead with a couple of Buzzards.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Sutton Bingham - Sun 16 Oct

Well today I managed two visits to the reservoir, one pre-breakfast and another late in the afternoon.
I started the day at West Pool where there were several birds present, somewhat bucking the recent trend on patch! A Stonechat and at least six Meadow Pipits were feeding on the southern edge of West Pool where six Snipe were roosting. West Pool also held two Teal and a pair of Wigeon. Overhead a Raven was heard and the main reservoir produced a fly-by Kingfisher. The sallows in the corner of West Pool contained a couple of Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest, but nothing scarcer.
I then drove down to the southern end of the reservoir. The long-staying Pintail had moved on at last but there were still fifty-three Teal and thirty-two Wigeon. Four Skylark flew over, as did a single Meadow Pipit.
Finally this morning, I stopped off at the church, but other than a handful of Redwing couldn't find anything of note.
Returning to the reservoir late afternoon, I made straight for the dam where a Little Grebe was feeding just off the tower. Then a real surprise as I heard a Red-legged Partridge calling, only the third time I've recorded this species at Sutton Bingham and a real bonus patch year tick. It called a few times but I was unable to pin it down. A flock of twenty-five Linnet was also noted at the top of the entrance to the Fishing Lodge.
Back then to the northern causeway and a check of the gulls that were starting to drop in. Three sub-adult Common Gulls were the pick.
Black-headed Gulls numbered well over a hundred and at least three hundred larger gulls were present.
Sutton Bingham year list 2016 now at 116 species.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 15 Oct

An afternoon walk resulted in my getting absolutely soaked! The heaven's opened as I was about as far from the car as I possibly could have been...but was it worth it I hear you ask? Well, not really.
I checked out the southern end of the reservoir where around thirty Wigeon and sixty Teal were present, a pair of Tufted Duck were new arrivals, and the female Pintail was still about. A single Stonechat was seen and it looked rather sorry for itself in the rain, but there was little else on show.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Sutton Bingham - Fri 14 Oct

A quick visit on the way home from work turned up a real surprise in the form of a Siberian Chiffchaff seen skulking in sallows in the north-eastern corner of West Pool and heard calling on a few occasions. A single Common Sandpiper was also seen this evening.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Sutton Bingham - Wed 12 Oct

Some time to spare at the reservoir this afternoon and during the couple of hours I was present I covered a fair amount of ground but failed to find anything out of the ordinary...what made things worse was the fact a Red Kite had been seen over the southern end of the reservoir mid-morning!
A check of the southern end produced a good number of wildfowl, with seventy-four Teal, thirty Wigeon and the female Pintail still.
A check around the church and car park only managed to provide four Redwing, with hardly any small birds on offer. So West Pool and the northern causeway then? A Stonechat was on the fence line south of West Pool and a Common Sandpiper was still feeding on the water's edge. That was it so round to the dam.
Bearing in mind the area around the Fishing Lodge was packed with birds at the weekend I arrived feeling positive. After a fair amount of searching the paddocks, hedges, etc. it seems my faith was ill-placed as there was hardly anything about. A Little Egret was on the dam and a Little Grebe was seen. A couple of Meadow Pipits were noted and a small flock of fourteen Linnets was flying around. The only other bird of note during the duration of my visit was a single Kingfisher. Seems that Sutton Bingham is missing out on all the quality scarcities dotted across the UK at present...suppose I'd better just keep looking.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Sutton Bingham - Sun 9 Oct

A morning trip to the reservoir was pretty pointless, with just a Common Sandpiper on West Pool and my first autumn Redwing being all I had to show for just under an hour on site.
A brief stop at the dam late afternoon was much more productive and yielded the first Common Gull of the winter (a nice adult bird) and three first-winter Mediterranean Gulls. The horse paddock was packed with birds but time was against me so I couldn't spend as much time scanning through everything as I would have liked. However, I did locate a Reed Bunting and there were a few White Wagtails and Meadow Pipits about. A single Linnet was on the dam wall.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Sutton Bingham - Sat 7 Oct

A Redshank was present at the southern end of the reservoir on Friday evening, but I did not have time to check the area during a flying visit before work this morning. A stop on the northern causeway produced a Common Sandpiper on West Pool and a single Chiffchaff feeding in the sallows in the corner of West Pool. A couple of Meadow Pipits flew over and a Kingfisher was noted. The long-staying Shelduck was still hanging about.
A return visit later in the day yielded two Common Sandpipers from the northern causeway whilst at the southern end of the reservoir nineteen Wigeon and two Teal were present and two Stonechat were still present along the edge of the reservoir south of the Canoe Club. Finally, a couple of Kingfishers were also noted.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Sutton Bingham - Wed 5 Oct

A little over an hour spent at the reservoir this afternoon with the intention of finding a Yellow-browed Warbler...but I failed miserably. It was a pretty windy afternoon so I saw very little in the way of small birds, with just a couple of Chiffchaffs noted around West Pool and the car park.
The area around the dam hosted at least three White Wagtails as well as four Meadow Pipits and a single Little Egret was on the dam. A couple of Nuthatches were feeding on the peanuts that the warden had put out and two Linnets were also noted.
I then set off for the southern end of the reservoir where a single Green Sandpiper was still present.
A Common Sandpiper was also seen and duck numbers had remained pretty constant. The female/first-winter Pintail was still in with the Mallard flock and twenty-eight Teal plus twenty Wigeon were counted.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Sutton Bingham - Sun 2 Oct

As I was home slightly earlier than I was planning I took the opportunity to pop up to the reservoir for a quick look, stopping to check out the southern end before returning home via a quick stop at West Pool. This proved to be fairly productive with a first-winter Pintail present amongst the Mallard. A single Common Sandpiper was still present and a "new" Stonechat, this time a nice male, was at West Pool.

Rodden Hive - Sun 2 Oct

After a short drive we arrived at Langton Herring and walked out to Rodden Hive. Again we noted loads of Meadow Pipits as we walked along and as we neared The Fleet a ploughed field produced at least thirty Mediterranean Gulls in with a number of Black-headed Gulls. The hedgerow produced a Wheatear and two Stonechat as several Red Admiral butterflies. As we scanned the water it didn't take me too long to locate the Black-necked Grebe which showed really well, if a bit distant. There was not much in the way of variety on the water so we headed back to the car with the target bird safely ticked off. After a good amount of birding we decided to call it a day and headed back home.

Radipole RSPB - Sun 2 Oct

After leaving Portland we stopped off at Radipole RSPB for a visit, spending a little under two hours wandering around the reserve. From the visitor centre we noted a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits and a single Black-tailed Godwit as well as five Bearded Tits and the resident Hooded Merganser. We then walked out to the viewpoint on the buddleia loop where I found the juvenile male Garganey tucked up in the reeds. More Bearded Tits were noted and a male Marsh Harrier was seen over the reeds. A Clouded Yellow as seen on the wing near the concrete bridge and as we returned to the car for our lunch a couple of adult Mediterranean Gulls were in flight over the car park. As we were getting ready to leave news broke of a Black-necked Grebe at Rodden Hive, so guess were we went next?

Portland Bill - Sun 2 Oct

A bit of birding with two old friends today (John and Steve) and we set off to Portland, arriving around 8.30am with cloudless skies overhead. It was pretty evident that there was some visible migration going on and the most abundant bird was Meadow Pipit, with literally hundreds seen over the course of the day. Whist at the Bill we noted several dozen Meadow Pipits fly out to sea heading south. There were also several Wheatear around the Bill, including a couple of the Greenland race...though this bird was of the nominate form.
Leaving the Bill we headed up to the Obs Quarry and within a couple of minutes Steve managed to locate the Wryneck that had been present for a few days. We were lucky enough to get some cracking views of the bird.
Wandering back to the car we noticed more Meadow Pipits and a few Skylarks passing over, plus a Peregrine trying its best to pick up a passerine snack and a couple of fly-over Raven. There was little out to sea apart from a distant Sandwich Tern, so we didn't;t linger for a sea watch and instead headed off for Radipole.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 1 Oct

A mid-afternoon walk along the edge of the reservoir whilst dodging some quite heavy showers actually turned up a few birds. A total of twelve Meadow Pipits and three Swallows passed through and there were two Stonechat present near the sleeper bridge. The southern end still played host to a single Common Sandpiper with twenty Teal and fifteen Wigeon present also.