Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 16 Aug

A bit more interest today with the highlight being a Sedge Warbler in vegetation along the water's edge near the Canoe Club, a much welcome addition to the patch year list. Sedge Warblers bred on the site as recently as 2014, but over the past couple of years have been noted solely as a passage migrant.
Also this morning, another Common Tern initially seen at the southern end of the reservoir before it flew north. A total of seven Common Sandpipers were also about today and three Little Egrets were noted. Finally, a couple of Kingfishers were seen.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 103 species.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Tue 15 Aug

What a difference a day makes! Very quiet at Sutton Bingham this morning, especially when compared to the quality birds that were seen yesterday. Just three Common Sandpipers on West Pool during a morning visit and three Little Egrets on the main reservoir. Very little else to report, though I was able to get a photo of this female Emperor Dragonfly.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Mon 14 Aug

A pretty profitable visit before work today with a couple of quality patch birds, though no year ticks unfortunately. A quick stop at the northern causeway produced a couple of Common Sandpipers and a very flighty Little Ringed Plover.
A quick drive round to the Fishing Lodge and a further nine Common Sandpipers were present on the dam. The second quality bird of the day came in the form of a Wheatear on the dam before flying and being lost to view.
The supporting cast this morning consisted of a couple of Raven, two Little Egrets and a Kingfisher.
A quick stop on my way home from work this afternoon produced an adult Common Tern off the dam.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 13 Aug

I didn't get a chance to check out Sutton Bingham yesterday, but did pop in for a brief visit this morning. Not much change again this morning from recent visits but Common Sandpipers numbered four birds today. A total of three Kingfishers were seen, including one that was rather obliging.
Just a single Little Egret was seen today and one adult Great Black-backed Gull was still present. A Sand Martin was seen over the dam and a male Sparrowhawk caused a bit of a stir. Finally, a juvenile Bullfinch was seen near the Fishing Lodge.

Sutton Bingham - Fri 11 Aug

More of the same this morning, with two Common Sandpipers present around West Pool probably being the pick. A couple of Sand Martins were noted and two Kingfishers were also seen. Finally, there were still three Little Egrets around the northern end of the reservoir.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Tue 8 Aug

A quick pre-work visit today and there was not much happening. The Lapwing was still present on the northern causeway (I failed to locate it on Saturday, but it was present yesterday morning) along with two Common Sandpipers.

Arne RSPB - Mon 7 Aug

A day off work and a trip down to Arne RSPB reserve with the family today. We started off with a walk around Coombe Heath, which was not overly productive though seven Spoonbills were seen in the Middlebeare channel.
Waders were very think on the ground with just a few Black-tailed Godwits and Oystercatchers. A few Little Egrets and several Shelduck were the only other birds on the mud whilst a single Dartford Warbler was heard calling but not seen. Finally, two Common Tern were noted before we headed to the café for a much needed bite to eat.
After our lunch we walked out to Shipstal Point. To be perfectly honest, there was nothing much to be seen. Another couple of Common Terns and a single Sandwich Tern off the beach and several Oystercatcher plus a few Redshank and Curlew on the salt marsh was about it.
Doing the circular route back to the car there were several dragonflies milling around, I could only get a photo of one and it's a Common Darter.
So although it was an enjoyable day out there was not much to be seen on the bird front.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sat 5 Aug

A later than usual visit to the reservoir today as I arrived around 10am and as soon as I got out of the car it started raining...hard! A very white Herring Gull was present today, and after the rain cleared I managed a distant record shot of it. Obviously a Herring Gull and nothing rarer, it was none the less an interesting bird.
Also today, a single Common Sandpiper on West Pool whilst a year tick in the form of a Green Sandpiper was present in a private area of the reservoir. A couple of Little Egrets were the only other birds of note this morning, and a brief return visit mid-afternoon failed to add anything. There was no sign today of the Lapwing that had been present for nearly a week.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 102 species.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Fri 4 Aug

The Lapwing still present off the northern causeway and a single Common Sandpiper on the dam during a brief visit this morning.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Thu 3 Aug

Present for its fifth day, the Lapwing was again off the northern causeway this morning. Two adult Great Black-backed Gulls were seen from the dam, as was a single Common Sandpiper. Just three Little Egrets were noted during this morning's quick visit.
The Lapwing was still present this afternoon, so decided I'd take a photo this time!
Not a bad looking bird, and you can see that it's a sub-adult from the above photo.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 2 Aug

Unbelievably the Lapwing was again present this morning just off the northern causeway and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was on a buoy in the middle of West Pool. The rain was pretty constant so I didn't hang around for long, might pop back in later if it clears up!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Tue 1 Aug

The Lapwing was again present today, for its third day, though this morning it was just off the northern causeway rather than between the car park and Canoe Club where it had been on the previous two mornings. Two Common Sandpipers were also noted during a quick visit and a Peregrine was atop one of the pylons at the southern end of the reservoir. Finally, there were still a handful of Little Egrets knocking around.
A quick stop in the afternoon produced a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and an adult Great Black-backed Gull.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Mon 31 Jul

Yesterday's Lapwing was still present this morning but just a single Common Sandpiper today though there were still six Little Egrets about. Just one Mandarin this morning also.
I did come across the following sunning itself on the dam wall. I believe it is a Black-tailed Skimmer.
A return visit after work turned up a surprise find in the form of a very smart summer-plumaged Dunlin feeding just off the northern causeway near the small jetty. A less than annual visitor to Sutton Bingham it was a real bonus find.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 101 species.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 30 Jul

I spent a little over an hour at Sutton Bingham this morning, where the highlight was a Lapwing, present on the water's edge between the car park and Canoe Club.
There were still half a dozen Little Egrets on site but I could only find two Common Sandpipers this morning. Two adult Great Black-backed Gulls were still present as were three Mandarin. There was also a bit of a patch rarity this morning, with a Feral Pigeon near the Canoe Club!

Sutton Bingham - Sat 29 Jul

A slightly longer than normal visit to the reservoir this morning, starting at the northern causeway where a juvenile Stonechat was an unexpected find on the wire fence to the south of West Pool. Too distant for anything like a decent photo, but I don't like to disappoint the readers so how's this?
A first-summer Great Black-backed Gull was present with two adults on the northern causeway.
Other bits and pieces this morning included a Sand Martin which flew over the northern causeway and headed in a general southerly direction. A flock of twenty-two Goldfinches consisted of juvenile birds with the exception of a single adult. Common Sandpipers numbered some five birds, spread along the length of the reservoir, and half a doze n Little Egrets were also present. A Kingfisher was seen and a Raven heard.
A quick return visit later in the day in pouring rain produced a total of 104 moulting Mallard in the north-east corner of the reservoir and two first-summer Great Black-backed Gulls.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Fri 28 Jul

More of the same this morning, just a single Common Sandpiper and one Mandarin, plus a pair of Stock Dove and two Ravens alongside the long-staying Great Black-backed Gull and up to four Little Egrets.
A brief return after work produced this mighty fine juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on the northern causeway.
Also this afternoon, the first-summer Great Black-backed Gull was again present, though the battery on my phone died before I could get a photo.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Thu 27 Jul

Another Oystercatcher at the reservoir this morning, first seen flying over the northern causeway and West Pool before being relocated on the dam.
Not much else about this morning, just the usual suspects with a single Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher, plus the two adult Great Black-backed Gulls, a Mandarin and three Little Egrets.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 26 Jul

A typically quick pre-work visit this morning and couple of Common Sandpipers were viewable from the dam as well as three Oystercatchers. The weather was absolutely dire so I didn't hang about.

Sutton Bingham - Tue 25 Jul

A very brief visit this morning produced four Common Sandpipers, including three together near the dam.


West Pool hosted a couple of Mandarin and an adult Great Black-backed Gull and a total of four Little Egret were noted, so pretty much the same sort of stuff as had been at the reservoir over the past week or so.

Fingringhoe Wick EWT - Sun 23 July

A weekend away visiting friends up near Colchester in Essex and I did manage to get in a little birding as this morning we took a walk around the Essex Wildlife Trust reserve of Fingringhoe Wick. Having visited the reserve several times in the past I knew what to expect, but this time we had a dog with us so we were somewhat limited with regard to where we could go, something I don't have a problem with and wish more nature reserves would do this. On the "dog walk" we didn't see much in the way of birds but there were loads of butterflies, including good numbers of Gatekeepers, a single Brown Argus, a Small Copper and a Common Blue plus a few Red Admiral, Peacock and Large Whites.
Returning to the visitor centre we dropped the ladies (and dog) off at the café whilst us chaps popped down to the new inter-tidal area (which was still under construction when I was at the site a year earlier). The tide was rising so there was a fair bit of wader movement with good numbers of Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Bar-tailed Godwit. I managed to pick out a single Knot and one Greenshank, plus a solitary Ringed Plover. A few Common Terns, including some juvenile birds, were also present and a Little Tern was unexpected.
All in in all we had a very enjoyable hour or so at the reserve, and a welcome bit of birding during a weekend away from the usual patch!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 19 Jul

I had a day off work today, but an appointment at 8am meant a very quick pre-7am visit to the reservoir which turned out to be a good call as I notched up my 100th patch tick of the year with two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers.
Unfortunately the birds were not accessible from public rights of way, which was a bit of a shame as they were showing really well. The only other wader on site today was a single Common Sandpiper. A handful of Little Egrets were still present.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 100 species.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Tue 18 Jul

I've made a few flying visits to the reservoir over the last week, but there has not really been much to report other than a few Common Sandpipers and Little Egrets plus the long-staying adult Great Black-backed Gull.
Today warrants a blog entry though as a stop at West pool on the way to work produced two Oystercatchers. Initially settled on the northern causeway they soon took to the wing and circled West Pool before heading over towards the dam (where I later spotted them resting).

There were also four Common Sandpipers on West Pool and the adult Great Black-backed Gull was again present and circling above.
A quick drive round to the Fishing Lodge produced a total of five Little Egrets and a very sleepy Redshank on the dam.

A single Swift was also noted feeding above the reservoir with House Martins and Swallows and a pair of Linnet flew over.
A return visit later in the day produced two juvenile Great Black-backed Gulls on the northern causeway and the two Oystercatchers were still present in a private area of the reservoir.


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Thu 13 Jul

You never quite know what to expect when you visit the same site almost daily, and today turned out to be rather surprising as a pre-work visit produced a Redshank and a Common Sandpiper on the northern causeway, both of which flew off south almost as soon as I got out of the car!
Round to the Fishing Lodge where a scan of the far bank produced a patch year tick in the form of three Oystercatchers. A typically dodgy record shot is mandatory of course.
The birds looked fairly settled as they fed but just as I was leaving to head off to work I heard them calling and after a couple of minutes circling the reservoir they flew off and I could not relocate them. You can hear them in flight by clicking here.
Also from the Fishing Lodge a further four Common Sandpipers, a single Great Black-backed Gull, three Little Egrets and a calling Raven.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 99 species.

Sutton Bingham - Wed 12 July

A typically brief early morning visit failed to produce the hoped for "rare" after heavy rain overnight. A total of twelve Common Sandpipers were on the dam and there were still four Little Egrets knocking around. A couple of Raven flew over and two adult Great Black-backed Gulls were noted.
A quick visit just after lunch produced another Great Black-backed Gull, this one being a second calendar year bird.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Mon 10 Jul

Much quieter today with just three Common Sandpipers present, all of which were on the dam. Four Little Egrets were noted and the small family party of three Mandarin were again seen. A Grey Wagtail was around the dam with a beak laden with food, presumably feeding a second brood of youngsters.
 There was not much else going on during my brief stop.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 9 Jul

A pre-breakfast visit turned out to be pretty worthwhile with another Redshank seen(the third of the year). Like the individual seen on Thursday, this bird was not viewable from public rights of way. Here's a dodgy shot of the Redshank with a Common Sandpiper.
A great total of sixteen Common Sandpipers were also present, so a real fall of waders overnight. There were still five Little Egrets around and Grey Herons were in double figures, with at least ten present. A Raven was heard overhead and one of the juvenile Mandarins was feeding near the northern causeway. Half a dozen or so Linnet were seen around the dam.
Just for interest, I did make a quick visit yesterday morning and counted an impressive flock of around forty Mistle Thrush around the Fishing Lodge, but nothing else of note.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Fri 7 Jul

Bit of a mixed bag during a pre-work visit this morning. Starting at the northern causeway a couple of Common Sandpipers were present briefly before they flew down the arm of the reservoir. Round then to the Fishing Lodge where a further five Common Sandpipers were noted as well an another slightly larger wader that was very distant...and asleep! Very interesting! So I popped in to the Fishing Lodge to arrange access on to the private land and whilst doing so the bird flew and despite my best efforts I was unable to relocate it. That's one that got away.
An adult Little Grebe and a single juvenile bird were on the main reservoir. I have no idea whether this proves successful breeding at the reservoir or whether these are birds displaced from elsewhere.
The family party of three Mandarin were still present and a total of at least six Little Egrets were at the reservoir this morning also.
The first returning Sand Martin of the year was present with a handful of Swallows near the Canoe Club.
I then decided to take a quick look down the southern arm in case the mystery wader had gone that way. Whilst searching (in vain) I did have a Curlew fly over calling, it circled the reservoir a couple of times before being lost to view. So despite missing out on one wader, I did add another to the patch year list. Swings and roundabouts.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 98 species.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Thu 6 Jul

Plenty of action this morning before I had to leave the patch and head in to work. A juvenile
Moorhen was on West Pool along with a single Coot and Black-headed Gull numbers have crept up a bit over the last few days, with seven birds present this morning.
From the Fishing Lodge I witnessed a Kingfisher harassing a Common Sandpiper, with a second Common Sandpiper also noted. A total of five Little Egrets were present today and the adult Great Black-backed Gull was also still around. Yesterday's Mandarin family were again seen but the highlight of a good thirty minutes at the reservoir was the second Redshank of the year, this bird was rather more flighty than the individual that was on the northern causeway ten days ago.

Sutton Bingham - Wed 5 Jul

A morning visit before work turned out to be quite productive, though all the action was from the Fishing Lodge as the southern end of the reservoir and northern causeway failed to yield anything of note.
A couple of Common Sandpipers were present and an adult Mandarin was seen with two juvenile birds. A single adult Great Black-backed Gull was still present and a couple of Little Egrets were noted. Finally, a Kingfisher was near the dam.
A brief stop on the way back from work produced the first juvenile Black-headed Gull of the year.
One of this morning's Common Sandpipers was also present near the northern causeway.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Sutton Bingham - Tue 4 Jul

A quick visit before work today and a Shelduck was on the northern causeway. It would be interesting to know whether this was the bird that was present for a couple of months late last summer.
Not much else to report this morning though.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 97 species.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 2 Jul

Other than a very brief visit late morning, when I found three juvenile Coot off the northern causeway (presumably dispersed from elsewhere as I've not seen any evidence of breeding at Sutton Bingham this year), I avoided the reservoir yesterday as there was an open day in the meadows!
However, today I spent a couple of hours on site in the morning. Starting at the Fishing Lodge, it was initially pretty quiet other than four Mistle Thrushes on the dam, but then a quick stop at the northern causeway produced the first of three Little Egrets that were present on patch.
I then headed down to the southern end of the reservoir where three Mandarin were on the far bank from the site of the old hide. Off then for a walk around Cotton bridge where a further four Mandarin were seen, indicating that two pairs have bred this year (or one pair have had two broods).
There were plenty of young birds seen today, and a few other birds of interest with a single adult Great Black-backed Gull, a Kestrel and two Linnet.
Butterflies were very much out in numbers also, with ten species logged, including a single Small Skipper, several Ringlet and a Comma. Whilst around a large Oak I spotted what was presumably a Purple Hairstreak.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Sutton Bingham - Mon 26 Jun

A bit of wader passage this morning with two Common Sandpipers and a Redshank present on the northern causeway at 7.50am.
Redshank is often one of the earliest passage waders and this year has proved no different, with this bird arriving just a day later than the first Redshank of 2016. A single Little Egret was also noted during the briefest of visits.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 96 species.