Monday, 28 November 2016

Sutton Bingham - Mon 28 Nov

On a whim I popped up to the reservoir during my lunch break, mainly because a pair of Egyptian Geese had been seen flying in the general direction of the reservoir earlier in the day...anyway, they never showed up at Sutton Bingham!
That being said I did find a drake Goosander which looked pretty settled near the Canoe Club. I didn't have time to get any closer so had to make do with distant 'scope views.
This was my third Goosander of the autumn, not bad considering this a bird that is not guaranteed annually.
Also present today a pair of Shoveler opposite the "hide", though both were fast asleep. The extreme southern end hosted thirteen Teal and eight Wigeon, before a further thirty-six Wigeon flew in from the north and joined them. Three first-winter Mute Swans were also new in. At the northern end of the reservoir a first-winter Common Gull was the only bird of note. There was no sign of the Coot that was on West Pool late yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Sutton Bingham - Wed 23 Nov

A fleeting visit on Sunday was uneventful with the only bird of note being the Barnacle Goose. Returning 48 hours later for an equally brief visit on Tuesday afternoon and the water levels had risen dramatically, a testament to the amount of rain that had fallen! A pair of Mandrain were at the southern end but all the Teal and Wigeon had left.
On Wednesday afternoon I spent a couple of hours on patch and it was painfully quiet. Other than a Mute Swan there was nothing on the water. A Stonechat was halfway down the southern arm, and showed well.
Other than the Stonechat, the only birds of note this afternoon were two Skylarks that flew over heading north, a total of four Meadow Pipits, including three in the field north of the Canoe Club, and a single Redwing.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Sutton Bingham - Sun 13 Nov

A pre-breakfast visit this morning turned out to be pretty productive (though nothing new added to the patch year list). I started off at the northern causeway and there was a load of activity along the railway embankment with a couple of hundred Redwing (and a few Fieldfare) feeding in the various berry bushes. At least three Chiffchaff were also noted along side a small party of Long-tailed Tits and a Goldcrest. Two Reed Buntings were also present on the edge of West pool along with a Grey Wagtail.
Off then to the southern end of the reservoir where the Teal flock had grown to 198 birds, though Wigeon numbers were down to just twenty-six and these were off the dam, none at the southern end at all this morning. Over head four Meadow Pipits flew through.
Round to the Fishing Lodge and the only things added here were a couple of Mistle Thrushes and a Kingfisher.
I ended the morning in the car park, where despite finding another flock of tits, there was nothing scarcer amongst them, though a Treecreeper was a nice sight. A quick count of the Cormorants gathered produced a personal patch record count with 114 birds noted. Finally, a Peregrine flew through heading west.
A return visit later in the afternoon was a little less productive though the southern end of the reservoir now held seventy-six Mallard and Wigeon kept dropping in until I had counted 134 birds. Teal numbers were about the same, but I didn't spend long totalling them up. A (maybe this morning's) Peregrine was on one of the pylons and as I walked back to the car a large flock of around 120 Jackdaw flew over.
A large number of gulls were gathering off the Fishing Lodge as the light started to fade, but I was unable to get round to that side of the reservoir to check them out.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Sutton Bingham - Wed 9 Nov

After being at a conference all morning I had some time to myself this afternoon so put in a shift at the reservoir. A quick stop at the northern causeway to check what was about produced the Barnacle Goose as it flew over my head with a flock of Canada Geese and headed south, a really great bird to watch in flight. Numbers of Wigeon had increased with 120 birds off the Sailing Club.
I then popped down to the southern end where I was surprised to find a redhead Goosander. Less than a fortnight since the fly-through drake this particular bird was slightly more obliging!
Unfortunately, it didn't hang around that long and flew off to the north soon after I arrived. The Teal flock numbered some 138 birds, an increase on recent visits. Before heading back round to the dam and Fishing Lodge, I noticed a Little Grebe and a fly-past Kingfisher.
From the Fishing Lodge I checked the Wigeon flock again, but nothing more unusual amongst them however I did notice three duck together on the water. Quickly setting up my 'scope I was rewarded with good views of a first-winter drake Gadwall and two Pintail (a female and a first-winter male). As I was checking out these duck a drake Mallard flew by in the company of a female Shoveler, so a really good assortment of wildfowl at the reservoir this afternoon.
There were plenty of gulls dropping in as I left, but I didn't have time to check them out.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Sutton Bingham - Sun 6 Nov

A late morning visit to the patch today and I headed straight for the southern end of the reservoir in the hope that something may have dropped in overnight. There were plenty of duck about today with counts of 150 Teal, 75 Wigeon and 60 Mallard. Amongst these a single female Pintail (presumably the bird that has been seen on and off over the past few weeks).
I then headed off for the northern end and after a quick scan of West Pool, where a Stonechat was still present, I made for the dam. A drake Tufted Duck was new in and amongst the Canada Goose flock the Barnacle Goose was still present.
Other than three Kingfishers there was not much else around today, though a late afternoon visit did produce a flock of around thirty Fieldfare.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Sutton Bingham - Sat 5 Nov

A quick stop at the reservoir before work this morning and it was terribly quiet, nothing of note at all from the northern causeway so, despite time restrictions, I pegged it down to the southern end just in case. Whilst counting the Teal, of which there were around sixty-five, a small party of Mallard flew from the bottom corner and headed north right past me, and they were in the company of a female Goldeneye! This is only my second ever record of Goldeneye at Sutton Bingham, the first being a male bird back in 2010. I certainly wasn't expecting that this morning!
A quick stop on my way home from work at lunchtime, provided another flurry of excitement but a higher measure of frustration as a small grey and white wader flew north over the top of the reservoir, unfortunately it was too distant and moving too quickly for me to identify. So after the highs of the morning, a little bit of disappointment this afternoon with one that got away!
Sutton Bingham year list 2016 now at 120 species.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Roseland Peninsula - Wed 2 Nov

The final day of the holiday, and it was another warm and sunny day. Spending a couple of hours in the garden I notched up nearly forty species of bird, with highlight being a couple of Cirl Buntings, one of which showed really well (even if it did have it's back to me most f the time). 
A large flock of around forty Redwing flew over, a Great Spotted Woodpecker dropped in, an adult Mediterranean Gull drifted over and three Bullfinch put in an appearance.
After packing the car we decided to make one last stop at Carne Beach and coffee at the Nare Hotel before walking across the sand to Pendower Beach. I relocated what was presumably the same Firecrest I had found a couple of days earlier behind the car park as well as a couple of Chiffchaff.
Leaving the beaches behind us we took a leisurely drive back home after a great few days away!

Roseland Peninsula - Tue 1 Nov

There was a lot of movement this morning over our cottage, with a flock of over fifty Fieldfares passing south and well over three hundred Woodpigeons moving through. In the garden I found a Firecrest which showed really well and a very late Swallow flew over.
After breakfast we set off and took the King Harry Ferry across the River Fal to visit Trelissick, a National Trust house and gardens. First though we had time to pop down to Loe Beach at Feock where a scan of Carrock Roads produced a very distant Red-necked Grebe, four Common Scoters, a couple of Little Grebes and a very nice Red-throated Diver.
As we walked around Trelissick I noted half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls overhead with a single Common Gull. The gardens were wonderful, though I didn't see much in the way of birds, however a Siskin was seen and I heard a Treecreeper.
After returning to our accommodation for a rather late lunch we set off for St Anthony's Head, whilst it was a pretty spectacular view there was not much else to do so we went back to Pendower Beach for the last couple of hours of sunlight. I found a Black-throated Diver offshore and three Common Scoter.

Roseland Peninsula - Mon 31 Oct

A quick check of the garden and field before breakfast was worth while with three Cirl Buntings being seen as well as a single fly-over Redwing and a Grey Wagtail. We then set off for Carne Beach where we enjoyed an almost deserted beach and a coffee and the Nare Hotel overlooking Gerrans Bay. A counted a total of four Great Northern Divers, including a wonderful bird in full summer plumage.
Leaving Carne Beach we popped along to Pendower Beach where a late Willow Warbler was unexpected alongside two Chiffchaffs.
After lunch, which we had back at "home" we set off to St Mawes and a wander around this small and typically Cornish town. I then returned to Pendower late in the day to see if I could find anything else of interest, but other than a single Great Northern Diver out in the bay it was really quiet, though a pair of Stonechats were nice to see.

Roseland Peninsula - Sun 30 Oct

An extended weekend away with the family and we spent five lovely days on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall.
 The Saturday was spent travelling, though with hindsight we should have set off earlier, but we had things to do at home before we left, so the Sunday was our first real day away and after breakfast I spent a little time checking the birds in and around the garden, with a real surprise in the form of a male Cirl Bunting! I was not expecting that, but this smashing bird has been reintroduced to Cornwall within the last decade and by pure coincidence we happened to be in the right area to see them.
There were also good numbers of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits in the field behind the garden as well as lots of Goldfinches and Linnets.
We then popped down to Porthcurnick Beach for a morning stroll, enjoying a coffee and cake (well I had a pasty) at The Hidden Hut café. On the bird front I located a Red-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver offshore, and several Gannets were in the bay.
After lunch back at our accommodation we set off to visit the church at St Just in Roseland. It was a wonderful setting and we enjoyed a nice walk around the village. I stumbled upon a nice feeding flock of tits, but couldn't find anything our of the ordinary amongst them.
Our final stop of the day was a trip to Pendower Beach which produced a fair bit of interest around the car park as another feeding flock of birds held a Firecrest and half a dozen Chiffchaffs, a nice end to the first full day away.

Sutton Bingham - Fri 28 Oct

A real surprise this evening, I failed to failed anything of note though the Teal flock had reached more than 120 birds. In fact I was feeling a little fed up and thinking how the best of the year had probably been and gone, when from the north a drake Goosander flew in and headed straight on south! This was my first patch Goosander for three years, and the last few have all been redheads, so great to get in on the year list.
Driving back I stopped briefly at the northern causeway where sixty-four Wigeon were grazing on the bank near the Sailing Club with a the Canada Geese and a single Barnacle Goose (presumably the bird that was present on Wednesday).

Sutton Bingham - Thu 27 Oct

A quick check of the southern end of the reservoir produced a flock of one hundred Teal and over a hundred Mallard. Other birds of note included a Peregrine on one of the pylons, a fly-over Skylark and two Stonechats.