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.