Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Weekend visitors + clocks change = not much time for birding recently!
Decided to spend the day on the reserve with the primary aim to spend some time seawatching and bag a late pom skua or early little auk.
First stop was the moth trap which contained 2 new species for me (streak and dark chestnut) and a nice merville du jour along with the yellow browed warbler calling close by. A walk around the Meadow Trail paid off with really nice views of the bird and a bonus of a fly-over woodlark. These little fungi were growing near the Fen Hide.
Straight down to the beach and as soon as I got there it was obvious that there was a good movement of little gulls and auks. I decided to do an hour (09:15-10:15) sample count and ended up with:-
little gull - 542
kittiwake - 16
common scoter - 50
eider - 5
red-throated diver - 7
red breasted merganser - 3
puffin - 1 east @ 10:10 and another close inshore.
hen harrier - ringtail east
harbour porpoise - 3 east
The puffins were a nice surprise and only the 3rd and 4th I have seen at the reserve following 1 in 2002 and a wrecked juv on the beach last autumn.
After a warm up with cuppa I decided to have a look around the Choseley area. There has been a large goldie flock in the fields recently but I still haven't managed to locate anything with them and today was no different. The only things of note were a Lapland bunting in the same field, 3 buzzards and a peregrine.
Back to the reserve for the roost and the fresh marsh is currently covered in duck. I didn't count them but there must be at least 1000 birds present at the moment many of the showing really well.
Loads of gull were dropping in until there was a massive explosion, everyone rushed out of the hide to see a plume of black smoke over the beach at Holme - must have been blowing up a bomb. Despite the disturbance most of the gulls came back and the roost included 3 adult yellow-legged gulls and a 2nd winter med gull and a juv spoonbill!
Final stop was the harrier roost but only 1 ringtail and no sign of the male. Last bird of the day was kingfisher over the grazing marsh pool.
1st winter female bullfinch ringed a few weeks ago

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