Sunday, 31 December 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 31 Dec

Due to various family commitments I've not managed a last minute slog on the patch before the end of the year, however, a quick five minute stop late afternoon today did produce an adult and first-winter Mediterranean Gull.
So no new species added to the Sutton Bingham year list in December, my first blank month since 2014 if memory serves. I also failed to add any new species to my Sutton Bingham life list this year, the first time for several years...but I guess that always gets harder!
Finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers (both of you) a very happy and prosperous 2018.

Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 110 species.

Radipole Lake RSPB - Fri 29 Dec

A trip down to Weymouth to meet up with some friends and a quick opportunity to check out Radipole where it was rather disappointing with not a lot in variety. The Hooded Merganser was seen off the buddleia loop but there was very little else, just a single calling Cetti's Warbler and a few wildfowl. A few Snipe were also noted but the gulls provided most of the interest with really good numbers of Mediterranean Gulls, a couple of which were ringed and so far I've had news on one adult Mediterranean Gull that was ringed as a third calendar year bird in Belgium in May 2016, this is the first report of it since it was ringed. I'll post news of the other ringed birds as soon as I have feedback.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Sutton Bingham - Tue 13 Dec

A later afternoon visit turned out to be well worth while with the highlight being a drake Pochard, just the second record of the year. Also today, four Shoveler and a Tufted Duck alongside seven Teal and at least fifty Wigeon. The Egyptian Goose was still knocking around, it was on the lawn at the Sailing Club today.
As the light started to fade lots of gulls dropped in, with a constant stream during the half an hour I was on site. A very rough count yielded 1200 Black-headed Gull and 600 Herring Gull.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 9 Dec

A very quick visit this afternoon was somewhat productive with an unseasonal second calendar year Great Black-backed Gull on West Pool where a Little Egret was also present. The Wigeon flock had increased to 110 birds.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 3 Dec

Apologies for the lack of updates recently. Whereas I have made a few visits to the reservoir over the past fortnight, there has been very little to report other than the long-staying Egyptian Goose which has been on patch for a couple of weeks, a couple of Peregrine sightings and three Tufted Duck.
I did spend a bit more time at Sutton Bingham this afternoon and the highlight was a Marsh Tit, just my second sighting of the year and up near the car park, which is not my "usual" place for seeing this increasingly scarce bird. Also around the car park, a couple of Chiffchaff and several Goldcrest.
The southern end of the reservoir held eighty-six Wigeon, a dozen Teal and four Mandarin whilst off the dam the Egyptian Goose was still present and was loosely associating with thirty-two Canada Geese. A Kingfisher was seen as it zoomed over the reservoir towards the Sailing Club and there were good numbers of both Redwing and Fieldfare.
As I left gull numbers were steadily building with a couple of hundred Herring Gull, at least five hundred Black-headed Gulls, twelve or so Common Gulls and just two Lesser black-backed Gulls.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Cattistock & Sutton Bingham - Sun 19 Nov

A trip down to Cattistock this afternoon where I finally got in on the Hawfinch action with two birds showing well, albeit briefly, around the church.
A brief stop at Sutton Bingham on the way home only produced the Egyptian Goose and a Peregrine.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 18 Nov

A visit mid-afternoon today and the Egyptian Goose was still present off the Fishing Lodge. The Wigeon flock numbered some sixty birds but it was pretty quiet today. A flock of fourteen Redwing and a single Fieldfare were also seen and whilst there were plenty of finches, there were no scarce stragglers amongst the commoner species.
Late news for yesterday, two pairs of Tufted Duck were present late in the day.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 15 Nov

A little over an hour at the reservoir this afternoon and the Egyptian Goose was again present and viewable from the Fishing Lodge. Two drake Shoveler were new in and were bobbing on the water off the Sailing Club. A small party of seven Meadow Pipits were on the dam and Wigeon numbered some fifty-five birds. Three Bullfinches were the only other birds of note this afternoon.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 12 Nov

An hour on patch late morning and the Egyptian Goose was present off the Fishing Lodge and was showing much better today.
No sign of any Wigeon today which was somewhat surprising and the only other birds of note were all "fly-overs" with singles of Raven and Meadow Pipit plus two Skylarks and a small flock of around a dozen Fieldfare.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Sutton Bingham - Fri 10 Nov

A slight change of plan this week due to unforeseen problems at work on Wednesday meant I finally got my half day today and managed to spend almost three hours at Sutton Bingham. The Egyptian Goose that was present briefly at the weekend was back today and was associating with Canada Geese around the Sailing Club.
Off the dam the Wigeon flock had increased to fifty-four birds and two Tufted Duck were also present. Gull numbers increased as the afternoon progressed but other than a few Common Gull which were the first of the winter there was nothing unusual amongst the gathering flock.
A walk along the reservoir's western edge was not overly productive, with just a couple of Redwing seen around the car park.
I then spent a good hour working the area at the extreme south of the reservoir which turned out to be the most profitable part of the patch today. A roving flock of Long-tailed Tits contained a couple of Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest, but nothing rarer. A Raven was "cronking" overhead. Ten Teal were flushed from the water but the highlight of the day were two, possibly three, calling Water Rail. These were my first on patch since 2014 and a very welcome patch year tick.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 110 species.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sat 4 Nov

A flying visit on my way to Dorchester and only because as I was driving past the water treatment works a goose flew over towards the reservoir that looked interesting. So a quick check from the Fishing Lodge and sure enough, a very smart Egyptian Goose had dropped in.

I didn't have time to do much more in the way of patch birding this weekend, but the Egyptian Goose was still present until around 11:45 on Sunday morning before it flew off northeast.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 1 Nov

Just over an hour spent at the reservoir this afternoon and the highlight was a flock of thirty-seven Lapwing over the northern end of the reservoir before they drifted off south. Wigeon numbers had risen to forty-two birds, feeding in a private area and not viewable from public rights of way.
I also managed my first Autumn Redwing and Fieldfare with singles of each along the southern arm. A Stonechat was typically obliging near the Canoe Club whilst the only other birds of note were a fly-through Mistle Thrush and a Sparrowhawk.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Blorenge - Sun 29 Oct

A planned twitch this morning as I set off to mid-Wales with a couple of mates to try and see the long-staying Rock Thrush. Leaving Somerset at 7.30am we arrived at Blorenge soon after 9.30am and made the walk out to the favoured quarry of our quarry! The bird was on the northern side of Gilwern Hill just below the Carreg Gywir radio mast. It was a pleasant 30 minute walk out to the site and it was probably the easiest twitch I have ever undertaken. You can see how obliging the bird was by looking at my photos below (I took over 100 photos whilst watching the bird and they were all passible!).
A brilliant bird and a wonderful morning out and my first Rock Thrush in the UK.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Sutton Bingham - Tue 24 Oct

A patch year tick today, the first one since mid-September. A small flock of six Pintail were viewable from the dam (not in an area with public access unfortunately). Now if you thought the picture of yesterday's Shoveler was bad, get a load of this:
There were four drake and two duck Pintail. The number of Wigeon had grown to twenty-five birds and seven Meadow Pipits flew over. A quick stop on the northern causeway produced a nice male Stonechat on the fence line south of West Pool.

Sutton Bingham - Mon 23 Oct

A stop at the Fishing Lodge on the way home from work today produced a drake Shoveler in with a small number of Mallard. It was rather distant but I never like to disappoint the followers so here's the required photo!
Two Little Egret flew through this evening also and singles of Meadow Pipit and Mistle Thrush were on the dam. Just three Wigeon noted today.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 22 Oct

An early morning visit proved to be rather chilly and the birds were somewhat lacking too. A female Tufted Duck was on West Pool whilst from the Fishing Lodge a flock of fifteen Wigeon were present. Four Meadow Pipit were on the northern causeway.

Cornwall - Sat 14 Oct to Sat 21 Oct

A family trip to Cornwall for the week and we again based ourselves in the Roseland Peninsula having found a nice little place that ticks the boxes for everyone.
The first full day started with a walk down to the "creek" near the cottage. At least four (possibly as many as six) Cirl Buntings were noted as we walked down the lane, with several Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches and Skylarks also seen. On the creek itself the low tide enabled me to find a few waders, with the pick being a single Bar-tailed Godwit. A total of seventeen Mediterranean Gulls were roosting on the exposed mud banks. The remainder of the day failed to produce anything out of the ordinary in the way of birds until I popped down to Pendower Beach late in the day where a Red-necked Grebe was offshore.
Monday morning and we managed a bit of time out before the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia hit, the pick being a Merlin which flew in-off at Pendower Beach. The strong winds had washed up loads of Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish, really amazing creatures.
I made a quick trip down to Percuil on Tuesday lunchtime where I found a Firecrest amongst commoner birds. On the estuary a single Grey Plover was seen alongside a Black-tailed Godwit and thirty-four Mediterranean Gulls. Back at our cottage in the afternoon a Spotted Redshank flew over calling.
A trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan on Wednesday was really interesting, and was livened up by four Firecrests found whilst wandering the grounds. A return visit to Pendower Beach in the evening and I relocated the Red-necked Grebe and found a Great Northern Diver.
Thursday morning and a walk along the beach at Pendower where we found a rather amazing Clam of some sort in one of the rock pools.
A little stroll inland and a Wood Mouse put on a bit of a show.
On the bird front there was not a lot of note other than several Gannets offshore and a couple of Common Gulls. In the afternoon I had a wander down to the creek and saw a Grey Plover and several Greenshank as well as a Kingfisher. In the evening a Noctule bat was flying around outside the cottage.
A trip down to Caerhays Castle on Friday morning where a couple of Stonechats were seen and three Mute Swans were on the lake.
In the afternoon we headed out to Ruan Lanithorne where seven Shelduck were on the estuary. Two Common Sandpipers were also noted and an adult Yellow-legged Gull was seen. A quick stop at Lamorran produced a few Teal.
The week away ended on Saturday as we headed back home, with one final addition before we left Roseland as a juvenile Swallow flew over the car. A really great "non-birding holiday" with a final trip list of 75 species.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 8 Oct

Managed a fairly brief visit to the reservoir mid-afternoon, but it was still pretty quiet. The female Tufted Duck was still on West Pool (I noticed it yesterday on my way home from work) but that was pretty much it on the water. A Little Egret was noted in flight and four Raven passed overhead. Also flying through, a Skylark, Meadow Pipit and two Linnet.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Sutton Bingham - Thu 5 Oct

A very brief post-work stop produced two Stonechats on the fence line bordering West Pool, a male and female bird. Don't' see many at Sutton Bingham, so I thought they were worth a blog posting!

Sutton Bingham - Wed 4 Oct

Due to various commitments I wasn't able to spend much of my half day birding at Sutton Bingham today, but still managed about an hour. Highlight was without a doubt a Slow Worm! Not a bird, but a patch tick and the first I've seen since I was a boy in my parent's garden, probably some thirty years ago. It was a bit of a beast too, being around 18" or so in length.
On the bird front it was still pretty quiet, though a Peregrine put on a bit of a show with two Buzzards over the southern end of the reservoir. A trip round to the Fishing Lodge produced a small flock of seven Little Egrets together and five Wigeon. On the dam wall there were at least five Meadow Pipits and several Pied Wagtails.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 1 Oct

Well September went out with a whimper and October failed to dazzle on the first day of the month! That being said there were still a few birds around today and the southern end of the reservoir was the most productive with nine Mandarin and a couple of Teal in with a growing number of Mallard. A Peregrine did a brief fly by and one of the fields adjoining the reservoir held around thirty Meadow Pipits, a similar number of Pied Wagtails and a couple of White Wagtails.
The only other bits and pieces of note today were a calling Chiffchaff, a Kingfisher, three House Martins heading south, and four Wigeon.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 24 Sep

A quick stop at the reservoir on the way home from Arne was fairly profitable. I stopped off at the Fishing Lodge and 'scoped the reservoir from there. The Canada Goose flock had grown to 165 birds and they were joined by three Wigeon. A single Mute Swan was also present. A couple of Common Sandpipers put in an appearance and overhead a Meadow Pipit flew through. A Raven was calling away from the top of a tree and finally there were four Little Egrets still present. Not a bad selection during a 15 minute stop.

Arne RSPB - Sun 24 Sep

Somewhere different today and a trip down to Arne RSPB. I started with a  walk out to Combe Heath where just as I set up my 'scope all the birds went mental as an Osprey flew in, then dived in to the channel and caught a fish before passing overhead with a fish. What a great start to the visit.
There were an impressive forty-four Spoonbills in the channel, it was quite something to watch them all take to the air when the Osprey flew in, what a sight and by far my highest count of Spoonbills in the UK. Also in the channel a good number of waders, primarily Black-tailed Godwit and Avocet but a few Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank and a single Knot. To round off the walk around Combe Heath a Dartford Warbler put on a bit of a show in the company of two Stonechats. Overhead, there was a good movement of Meadow Pipits and Swallows.
After a quick bite to eat in the café I headed out to Shipstal Point where nine Sandwich Tern were feeding in the Poole Harbour. Other than a couple of Oystercatchers there was nothing else of note as I completed the walk back to the car park. All in all though a brilliant trip out and the weather was just ideal.

Sutton Bingham - Fri 22 Sep

A late afternoon visit produced a flock of nine Mandarin at the southern end of the reservoir, my highest single count of this enigmatic duck at Sutton Bingham, a shame this record shot doesn't do them justice.
Not a huge amount else around, with a single Teal and two Wigeon present plus an adult Great Black-backed Gull was seen again after no sightings for a little while. A total of five Little Egrets were noted and a single Kingfisher was seen. A couple of Linnet flew over and there were still several Swallows milling around.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 17 Sep

A very busy weekend meant that I only got to spend about an hour at the reservoir on Sunday afternoon over the course of the entire weekend. As I didn't have much time today it was pretty much a whirlwind visit with a single Kingfisher, two Common Sandpipers, seven Little Egrets and a Raven being the only birds of note other than a female Wigeon which was the first of the "winter"!
There were a few Swallows and House Martins still around, but not much else to report today.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 13 Sep

An afternoon visit to the patch rather than a mad rush down to Weymouth to twitch some rare sandpipers...wrong decision! A walk from the car park down to the southern end and back produced a couple of Common Sandpipers, four Little Egrets and a Kingfisher. There was a bit of excitement and frustration as I spent 45 minutes scrambling through vegetation trying to identify a skulking warbler, which eventually turned out to be a Sedge Warbler.
West Pool produced an adult Great Black-backed Gull but nothing else while another Common Sandpiper and three more Little Egrets were noted from the Fishing Lodge. All in all somewhat disappointing given the large numbers of storm-driven waifs that have been reported from other sites around the south-west, but if you don't look you won't find anything I guess.
To add to the frustration, the warden had a Redshank first thing in the sign of it this afternoon though!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Sutton Bingham - Mon 11 Sep

A quick visit during my lunch hour was not looking like a good idea as it absolutely chucked it down just as I arrived on site. Scanning the reservoir from the car was pointless, and there was hardly anything to see other than a Mute Swan on West Pool and a couple of Little Egrets.
But then the rain stopped so I got out and checked West Pool and the fence line just to the south where I noticed a few birds milling about. So out with the 'scope and I was soon able to pick up a few pipits, and after some close scrutiny it was obvious they were Tree Pipits, result! I've got Tree Pipit on my SBR list, but I've only had fly-over birds identified by their call, so to see grounded birds was a real bonus. Scanning the fence line further I noticed a Yellow Wagtail and then a Spotted Flycatcher! Two patch year ticks in the space of a few minutes, the only down side was that I needed to rush back to work.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 108 species.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 10 Sep

I just about managed a hour at the reservoir early in the afternoon, but pretty much straightaway it started to rain, which steadily got worse until I gave up and headed off at around 3pm. That being said I still managed a few things of note today.
There were three Tufted Duck on West Pool and a Wheatear was on the fence line near the horse paddock just south of West Pool. A single Meadow Pipit flew over.
On then to the southern end of the reservoir where a Common Sandpiper was seen and three Teal were noted. Two Mute Swans were also new arrivals, this species didn't even attempt to breed at the reservoir this year. A Kingfisher added a splash of colour in worsening weather.
Back then to the Fishing Lodge where a Sand Martin was seen but not much else unfortunately. A total of six Little Egrets were counted around the reservoir this afternoon.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sat 9 Sep

A flying visit on the way to work produced the first Meadow Pipit of the autumn as a single bird flew over West Pool. To add another touch of autumn a female Teal was on West Pool and was typically jumpy. A couple of Raven flew over and there was a single Common Sandpiper present as well as a Little Egret.

Sutton Bingham - Wed 6 Sep

A couple of hours at the reservoir this afternoon and the weather was lovely for a change. Starting in the area around West Pool I found a flock of twenty-five Yellow Wagtails, my single highest count of this species at Sutton Bingham and a joy to watch. The photo below shows just some of them.
I then took a walk from the car park down to the far end of the reservoir, but failed to add much, though a couple of Common Sandpipers were noted and there were several Chiffchaffs and Swallows milling about.
Back then to the Fishing Lodge where I counted four Little Egrets, another Common Sandpiper and the adult Great Black-backed Gull was still present. Then a bit of a surprise as an adult Mediterranean Gull dropped in and started bathing. Before long it flew towards me and settled near the dam.
I certainly wasn't expecting to find a Mediterranean Gull this afternoon!

Sutton Bingham - Mon 4 Sep

A quick visit this morning produced a juvenile Tufted Duck off the Sailing Club. After careful scrutiny I couldn't make it in to anything else, and though it didn't look quite right for a Tufted Duck, it certainly wasn't anything more exciting (though whether there was a trace a Scaup somewhere in it's past or not will never be known).
Nothing else to report this morning though.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 3 Sep

It rained today, all day, without stopping. I still decided to take a look at the patch "just in case" with a late morning visit proving to be surprisingly productive despite the dismal weather. A sub-adult Common Tern was off the dam and was probably the pick of the birds (I'm still waiting for a Black Tern to drop in!).
A small flock of seven Yellow Wagtails were flushed from the dam wall and then flew south, an eighth bird flew south soon after. A Common Sandpiper was on West Pool with another two birds along the southern arm. A group of six Mandarin were at the southern end of the reservoir as were two Little Grebes. A total of five Little Egrets were seen and an adult Great Black-backed Gull was still present.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 2 Sep

Lots going on today but I did manage to spend around an hour at the reservoir at midday but it would be safe to say it was nowhere near as productive as yesterday. A Little Grebe and an adult Great Black-backed Gull were on West Pool. A couple of Common Sandpipers were noted and Little Egrets had increased to seven birds. A single Linnet was on the dam and the Canada Goose flock had grown to 105 birds.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Sutton Bingham - Fri 1 Sep

A pre-work visit turned out to be pretty worthwhile with three Wheatears seen, one near the railway embankment, a second near West Pool and a third below the dam, it certainly has been an unprecedented year for Wheatears at Sutton Bingham. A single Yellow Wagtail was also noted this morning. Three Common Sandpipers were present as were four Little Egrets. A Raven was in trees near the Fishing Lodge and there was a fair sized mustering of Swallows, with at least thirty juvenile birds amongst the adults.
Due to the migrants present this morning, I decided on a flying visit over my lunch hour today and this turned out to be inspired. A quick check of the southern end of the reservoir failed to produce anything, but checking the area south of West Pool was well worth while with a good number of birds gathered. The highlight (and a patch year tick) was a Whinchat, but there were also three Wheatears and eight Yellow Wagtails, with many of the later flying in whilst I was on site.
An absolutely brilliant visit, even though it was pushing it getting to the patch and back during my lunch hour.
I did take the opportunity to stop off for another look on the way home tonight. The Whinchat afforded much better views.
One of three Wheatears this evening also showed rather well.
Finally, a Hobby caused a bit of a stir as it passed over West Pool before heading off in a northerly direction. What a great day!
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 106 species.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Thu 31 Aug

A quick visit this morning failed to produce an end of August surprise, but a single Common Sandpiper was noted on the northern causeway. A stop at the Fishing Lodge produced a second Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper whilst three Little Egrets and a Kingfisher were also noted.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Tue 29 Aug

A flying visit this morning on the way to work and a patch lifer! A Marbled Teal was on the northern causeway, and what a cracking little duck. Unfortunately it had a yellow ring on the left leg, so an obvious escapee but lovely to see none the less.
The only other birds of note this morning were a single Common Sandpiper and two Little Egrets.
A return visit on the way home from work produced another year tick, this time in the form of three Yellow Wagtails in and around the horse paddock south of West Pool.
With good numbers of Yellow Wagtails being reported from the south coast over the past few days, I was hopeful that one would drop in to the reservoir. Always a nice bird to add to the patch year list.
The Marbled Teal was still present in the far corner of West Pool.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 105 species.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Sun 27 Aug

A slightly earlier visit to the reservoir today as I arrived on site soon after 6.30am. Starting at the northern causeway I was treated to a couple of close views of two Kingfishers as they flew around. Two Common Sandpipers were also present but there was little else...until a flock of Mallard flew south from the north-east corner of the reservoir and in with them a medium sized wader. However, it was much too far away for me to have any chance of identifying it so what followed was a mad dash to the southern end of the reservoir in the unlikely hope it had found somewhere to settle, but it hadn't! One that got away and a rather frustrating start to the visit. However, a Sedge Warbler was a nice find and a Peregrine was on one of the pylons. Finally, a third Kingfisher was noted.
After a decent walk I drove back to the northern causeway to check the various fence lines, etc. for migrants (of which there were none) when I heard a tern calling, and then to my surprise two adult Sandwich Terns suddenly appeared and eventually settled on the northern causeway not far from the car.
After last year's adult bird it was a real treat to get this scarce Sutton Bingham visitor on the year list again so soon. The two Sandwich Terns were then joined by a Common Tern before all three were lost to view and I didn't see them again during my time on the patch.
NB: Both Sandwich Terns were ringed, but one (in heavier winter moult) bore a dark blue ring with EFS in white. I have logged this and it will be interesting to find out where the bird was from.
I then set off for the Fishing Lodge and a quick check of the dam where a further two Common Sandpipers were present. A Hobby then passed through heading east, my first at the reservoir since the early summer. One of the adult Great Black-backed Gulls was also seen this morning and a total of four Little Egrets were noted.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 104 species.

Update: The Sandwich Tern with the colour ring EFS was ringed on 13 June 2013 as a chick at Forvie NNR on the Ythan Estuary in NE Scotland, some 715km from Sutton Bingham, as the tern flies!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Fri 25 Aug

After a very quiet visit yesterday morning, today was much better. Unbelievably I notched up the sixth Wheatear of the year, with a bird in fields behind the Canoe Club. Whilst watching the Wheatear, a Green Sandpiper flew over calling. So two decent patch birds in the space of a few minutes. There were still two Common Sandpipers around the northern causeway and West Pool, whilst a couple of Little Egrets were also noted. There was a good movement of hirundines with several Sand Martin mixed in with numerous Swallows. Finally, a Cormorant was having one mighty battle with a fish it caught.
I watched the contest for several minutes and it looked as if the bird gave up eventually, though whether the fish survived is anyone's guess.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 23 Aug

A morning visit before work today and I concentrated on the northern causeway simply because there was a fair bit going on. A juvenile Common Tern was present on the causeway and showed really well at times. It spent most of the time on the causeway itself with occasional jaunts over the main reservoir. After about half an hour or so a second juvenile Common Tern suddenly appeared and after "collecting" the original bird, they flew over West Pool and were lost to sight.
Also this morning, the first four Teal of the "winter" were present on West Pool and a total of five Common Sandpipers were seen.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Sutton Bingham - Tue 22 Aug

There's not been much happening at the reservoir over the past week, certainly nothing that warranted a blog posting. However, something a bit different today with a Green Sandpiper present on West Pool before it took to the air and flew off high to the west. A single Common Sandpiper was also on West Pool whilst three Little Egrets and a Kingfisher were seen on the main reservoir. There were also several Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers around this morning, though I couldn't find anything more unusual amidst them.
A check of the area around the dam on the way home from work this evening failed to produce much more than a few Linnet and a Common Sandpiper. However, driving round to the northern causeway I found a Wheatear just to the south of West Pool.
This is my fifth Wheatear of 2017, and the second bird this autumn. I think I have now seen more this year than in the last 15 years combined!

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.