Monday, 27 February 2017

Sutton Bingham - Mon 27 Feb

A couple of visits to the reservoir over the weekend failed to produce much, though Wigeon peaked at twenty-nine birds after several days of not seeing any on patch. An adult Great Black-backed Gull was also seen. However, a quick stop on the way in to work this morning turned up a real unexpected find. As I drove up to the northern causeway to park, an all white gull took flight and settled on the Iceland Gull! I quickly stopped the car, grabbed my phone and got a record shot, I reckon it was a first winter bird.
Over the next five minutes I was able to get the 'scope set up and rattle off a couple of slightly better pictures before leaving at 8.00am, the bird took off from the water as I drove past but looked pretty settled.
This is my second Iceland Gull at Sutton Bingham following a bird in January 2014, this one was much more obliging though.
I popped back in to the reservoir on my way home from work and the Iceland Gull was present in the gull roost. Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were also present.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 22 Feb

Still pretty quiet at Sutton Bingham, just a pair of Teal at the southern end with no sign of any other duck at all. From the northern causeway I noted three Great Black-backed Gull, two adults and a third calendar year bird, whilst two Coot were on West Pool. Three Mute Swan were again present, including an adult female that was ringed as an adult in 2013 at Abbotsbury Swannery.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Sutton Bingham - Mon 20 Feb

A couple of visits over the weekend failed to produce too much in the way of decent birds, but an adult Great Black-backed Gull was present on Saturday morning, with a pair on the main reservoir on Sunday morning. The Peregrine was again seen at the southern end, but there have been very few duck over the last week, just a drake Tufted Duck seen on Saturday.
Back to today though and a drake Gadwall was seen early morning from the northern causeway, again very jumpy it took flight and settled briefly on West Pool, no idea whether this is the same bird that was present earlier in the month. I managed a quick shot as it took flight!
A late afternoon visit produced a count of at least fifteen hundred Black-headed Gulls.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Sutton Bingham - Thu 16 Feb

A quick stop this morning produced a single Lapwing present on the northern causeway until I got out of the car and spooked it sending it flying off to the east!
An equally quick visit after work yielded three Mediterranean Gulls flying south and the Peregrine was again present on one of the pylons.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Sutton Bingham - Wed 15 Feb

A quick pre-work stop at the northern causeway was a good call as a drake Gadwall flew in to West Pool, hung around for a couple of minutes, and then flew off to the east!

Arne RSPB - Tue 14 Feb

A trip down to Arne RSPB reserve today and a nice walk around although I failed to see much variety in the way of birds. The highlight was a flock of sixteen Spoonbill viewable from Shipstal Point, a bird that is almost expected when visiting Arne nowadays. I figure the tides were not quite right for waders, as just ten Black-tailed Godwits were seen (in flight as they passed overhead) and small numbers of Redshank and Curlew were noted. On the water a drake Goldeneye looked rather smart whilst back a the Visitor Centre there were some very obliging Siskins. None of the hoped for heathland specialities today, but I dare say I'll head down this way again!

Sutton Bingham - Mon 13 Feb

A quick stop at Sutton Bingham after work turned out to be much more productive than yesterday's extended visit! An adult Great Black-backed Gull was on one of the pontoons off the Sailing Club and overhead a little stream of gulls included twenty-five Common Gulls and two Mediterranean Gulls.
A couple of Mute Swans were viewable from the northern causeway whilst at the southern end a Peregrine was again noted. Just five Wigeon and six Teal seen today but a good number of winter thrushes were seen with at least fifty Fieldfare and over a hundred Redwing present.
Overhead a Raven and Stock Dove passed by.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 12 Feb

I spent around an hour and a half at the reservoir this morning and put in a great deal of effort for very little reward. A single Little Egret was briefly present on West Pool where just two Snipe (with another three present at the southern end of the reservoir).
At the southern end a Peregrine spooked some forty-two Wigeon and forty-three Teal.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 11 Feb

A quick stop on my way home from work on Friday night produced two Little Egrets on West Pool, a new addition to the patch year list, however, they were not present during the hour I spent on patch this morning.
It was bitterly cold and there had been a dusting of snow overnight but not a lot of birds at the reservoir today. Three Mute Swans were seen off the dam whilst just three Teal and a small flock of thirty-six Wigeon were present at the southern end. A Raven and two Siskin flew over and West Pool hosted two Coot.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Milborne Port - Thu 9 Feb

A quick trip down the A30 at lunchtime today to try and find the long-staying Cattle Egret that has been hanging around Milborne Port for the last few weeks. I'd tried a couple of times for it but had drawn a blank, however, with a little bit of inside information I had a new place to try and sure enough I found it with sixteen Little Egrets feeding in a field just south of the village and viewable from Goathill Road. Always nice to see a Cattle Egret, and although distant it was clear as day, as the photo below can even see the yellow bill!
Not a bad bird to get during one's lunch break!

Sutton Bingham - Wed 8 Feb

I concentrated on the southern end of the reservoir this afternoon, primarily the area around Cotton Bridge, and as it happens this was where most of the action was. Although I didn't add anything to the patch year list, I saw some pretty good birds this afternoon.
Three Mandarin were seen in the river at Cotton Bridge before flying north, and a single male Siskin was in song up in the alders. Just three Snipe were seen today, all of which were put up from the water's edge. A Raven passed overhead and a Peregrine buzzed the duck before alighting on a pylon.
On the water there were fifty-four Wigeon and sixty Teal plus a pair of Shoveler (a first winter male and a female).
Finally a Brown Hare was a nice find and three Roe Deer were also seen.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Ham Wall RSPB - Sun 5 Feb

A family trip up to Ham Wall RSPB this afternoon and whilst it was a nice walk I left rather disappointed by the birds and the reserve in general. Lots of dog-walkers with their dogs off leads didn't help, and an almost constant ringing of gunfire over the back of the reserve surely helped to contribute to the poor numbers of birds that I saw. In fact, other than a showy Water Rail and a pair of Marsh Harriers there was nothing much to be seen. Just a single Snipe and the expected wildfowl present, and even these seemed to be low in number. Not that sure I'll be heading that way again any time soon.

Sutton Bingham - Sun 5 Feb

I was able to spend a good ninety minutes at the reservoir late morning and I turned out to be a pretty productive visit. Starting at the Fishing Lodge there was not that much about but a male Kestrel was a nice addition to the year list.
I then drove round to West Pool where five Tufted Duck were present, before heading to the southern end of the reservoir. Seven Wigeon and twenty-seven Teal were noted on the water and I then took a walk around Cotton Bridge. As walking along I put up a Woodcock, just my second only record of this species at Sutton Bingham and a great bird to find. Also in the same area a pair of Mandarin. Finally the morning ended with a Raven passing overhead.
Sutton Bingham year list 2017 now at 69 species.

Sutton Bingham - Sat 4 Feb

A quick stop on the way to work produced nothing of note, but on the drive home at lunchtime I passed a large flock of Lapwing coming from the direction of the reservoir but despite my best efforts by the time I got to "the patch" they had flown on. Despite this I did manage to connect with a flock of sixty-three Lapwing which flew over Goose Slade Farm and on over the reservoir. Always a good bird to get on the year list.

Sutton Bingham - Wed 1 Feb

A fairly quiet visit today, though an adult Great Black-backed Gull on West Pool was somewhat of a surprise.
Duck numbers have dropped off quite a bit, probably due to the higher water levels and local floods causing them to disperse after the recent heavy rain. Just twenty-eight Wigeon, a dozen Teal and four Tufted Duck counted today.