Sunday, 31 August 2014

Lovely Evening

Even before the report of a white rumped sandpiper on the fresh marsh (heard reports ot was a juv sanderling!), I had decided to go into the reserve for the evening. A really good choice as the weather was beautiful.

A sit on the main path for a bit gave fantastic views of a juv little stint feeding within 10m of the path with a little group of ruff. Stunning little birds although it was a bit too mobile to get some decent photos.

Most of the ruff were feeding behind the islands so I went to Parrinder Hide do a count. 95 is a good count for this time of year

I didn't count everything but had :-

3 juv little stint
5 golden plover
Juv sanderling
140 avocet
13 spotshank
32 dunlin
2 water rail
268 teal
2 greenshank
5 juv curlew sand
113 LBB gull
3 knot
2 Chinese water deer

Thursday, 28 August 2014

A good day

Wasn't expecting the rain whe I went in early this morning but it did seem to drop in a few birds. The carpark area has been alive with blackcaps recently and there were 20-30 there this morning. Later on, 4 whinchats appeared in the field beyond the gates.

Chris and I were working in the beach area but jammed in on a pied fly with a feeding flock at the start on the main path. Plenty of swallows still moving and 11 eider on the sea was all we had for the rest of the morning.

Just as we were heading back, Dave radioed to say a great white egret had been seen on the reedbed pool. Were were close by but the bird wasn't showing. We dropped our tools off at the office and headed into the reedbed for a closer look. The access was very wet (after the rain) and there were lots of nettles and brambles but we did confirm the bird was still there.
It was fairly mobile during the rest of the day and showed really well this evening.

Waders seemed to be on the move again with 5 green sands, 3 juv curlew sands, juv little stint and 78+ ruff this evening.

Surprise sighting of the day was of 4 red deer (1 calf) in the back roads near Docking!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

First Fall

Well it wasn't a big one (said the actress to the bishop) but it was definitely worth getting up early.
The decision had been either seawatching or thrashing Thornham Point for migrants. Well with the wind dropping and a sprinkling of migrants on the coast, Thornham Point was the destination.

Simon and I met in the carpark and headed for the Point. There  were a few martins and a couple of swifts on the way out and despite the NE wind it was rather warm.

Almost as soon as we got the the Point bushes a bird was flycatching near the tower, a rather nice pied fly (160). The flycatcher was pretty mobile moving between the bushes and the tideline sueda until eventually it disappeared.

7 spoonbills dropped onto the saltmarsh, 3 wigeon and a female peregrine flew by but other than that it seemed quiet.

We checked the rest of the bushes and headed to the other dunes. Almost straight away we flushed a wheatear and a few meadow pipits. Further around the dunes was a whinchat and another wheatear but sadly no wryneck.

Back at the bushes a juv spotted fly had appeared but it was time for work :-(

A walk out to the East Bank this afternoon produced a 2nd pied fly and there was another one at the north end of Gypsy Lane this evening.

It wasn't heaving with migrants but it was a nice way to kick off the autumn season. Lets hope its a sign...

Think the carpark will need checking on the morning :-)

Saturday, 2 August 2014

What are the chances of that...

After spending the morning birding on the reserve last Sunday, I bumped into Mark Golley and Graham Etherington who were visiting in search of the long tailed skua.

We got talking about birds (as you do) and in particular the colour ringed godwits that were about when I mentioned that I had managed to read a ring combination on a spotted redshank that had been close to the path.
Mark was very interested to know the combination as he had also read one last year. I didn't have the record in my notebook but I passed it on to him later in the day.

Mark emailed on Monday and amazingly it turned out to be the SAME bird! Mark had seen it on July 1st 2013 and my sighting was on July 12 this year.
Turns out the bird was ringed as an adult on July 2nd 2008 in Castricum in Holland.

Although we know that birds pass though the same sites every year, it is always great to get the proof