Friday, July 29, 2016
When I got to the field of a thousand wagtails, I could plainly see there had been some movement of birds away from the area, probably due to the rainfall overnight. I spent about half an hour searching and found no sign of any flava wagtails whatsoever and the alba species were down to c20 birds.
On the way back, the a/m Pied was once again creeping up the track and as before when I passed over, it buried it's head in the grassy verge and I moved on.
Other: 4 Skylark, several Meadow Pipit, couple Whitethroat, few Linnet, 2 Goldfinch, 2 LBBG, an increased number of caawvids.
Mixenden to Ogden Res.
The pits; 3 House Martin over the water only. The walk along bottom of Hunter Hill to the golf course was boring producing only Jackdaws until I reached the style adjacent to the big juncus field. As I watched a flock of c18 Linnet and a WW in the Hawthorns, a Grasshopper Warbler gave two short reeling bursts from the deep vegetation. I presume this is the bird I saw here previously on Thurs 21st July.
I managed another WW here and a singing Song Thrush plus Blackbird then it was quiet until I got to the water.
2 Cormorant, c100 BHG, 5/6 Common & 3 LBBG, 1 Chiffchaff, ditto Blackbird and a final Song Thrush.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
It wasn't until almost an hour later I heard a call and picked one bird up about 25 metres away for a few seconds. This coincided with the arrival of DJS and Alan.
Then at 1145 I got a more distant view of both birds and then another glimpse of a singleton afterwards.
c30 Pied Wagtail, 5/6 Meadow Pipit ditto Linnet, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Skylark, 1 House Martin, several Swallows, 4 Swift. One family of 4 Whitethroat were in the vicinity and I picked up a single adult nearer to Swalesmoor road.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Crimdon 0915 hrs Little Tern, Common Tern, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Whitethroat, Cormorant, Gulls, Sand Martin, Swallow, Swift, Meadow Pipit.
Greatham Creek. Grey Seals. Merlin male, Kestrel, Curlew, Greenshank, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Avocet.
Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Common Tern, Herring Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Great Tit.
Monday, July 25, 2016
1050 hrs Ogden was the pits in a fresh NW'ly. 3 LBBG & c50 BHG, couple WW. The highlight here was the male Sparrowhawk put in an almost identical performance as the previous sighting. This time I could see the prey item looked like Blue/Gt Tit.
The bottom of Hunter Hill was rotten with Swallows and House Martin chasing insects. Mixenden Res was quiet: few Jackdaw, 3 Canada, 1 BHG ditto Goldcrest and more hirundines over the water.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Around 6 LBBG flying around and 8/9 BHG on the deck with caawvids. Couple Swallow, Linnet, Meadow Pipit & WW. 3 Whitethroat still making threatening noises and pr Blackbird end Ned Hill track.
As I decided I would abort the session and go home owing to both inertia and crowds a pleasant surprise ensued. Hearing a different loud honking sound from the norm here I spun round to catch 10 geese flying low overhead. They were Greylag and included a couple juveniles. It was no surprise really when they circled once and buggered off heading N.
Also 1 Chiffchaff and a pr screeching Jay.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
1 Snipe on top field along with 1 Skylark & Linnet. c58 Lapwing bottom NW field with caawvids. 2 Swallow, 1 Whitethroat displaying and singing. c4 Goldfinch & Meadow Pipit, 1 Blackbird & Pied Wagtail, pr Stock Dove.
The golf course was quiet but ended very well. Halfway up the track to the Mixenden style I flushed a brown bird from approx 1.5 metres. I couldn't fail to see the lightly streaked back and the rounded spade tail - Grasshopper Warbler.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Also c7 GCG. Numerous Coot & Tufted Duck similar Canada & Greylag. 4 Pochard but for the first time no Gadwall. 2 Grey Heron, several Mute Swan.
Monday, July 18, 2016
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Sat am a Buzzard and 2 big unid gulls at Swalesmoor prompted a search of Ogden Res after munch. We all make mistakes, it was gash.
1 BHG was sporting a white ring on right leg but there was no chance of reading it.
Whitethroat still singing as were 1 Blackcap & Chiffchaff. 1 each Swift, GSW and Siskin as I headed toward Mixenden Res...
Yet again from the plantation side of the water, I startled a Common Sandpiper. It takes off from roughly the same area, this being the fourth time since early in May.
One wonders if breeding occurred, one does.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Waders were thin on the ground just a load of Lapwing and 2 Common Sandpiper.
Warblers came to 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 3/4 WW, 3 Reed & 5 Sedge.
I got carried away by standing just 4/5 metres away from mebbe 9 Common Tern flying around and diving for fish. This paid dividends: for the next 15 mins I watched a Black Tern doing exactly the same! This was the best show I've ever seen from this sp. which was going into non breeding moult. Pity it was simply too quick off the mark for old slowhand and his camera.
I couldn't get any gulls other than BHG but did find more Common Tern.
Also present on/around the drink were 1 Grey Heron, 5 GCG, 4 Pochard, & Gadwall, 1 Moorhen, c90 Coot, c40 Tufted, many Canadas, few Greylag, c12 Cormorant, c40 Mute Swan.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Bradshaw halfway down/up Blind Lane 5 Redpoll flying around then landing briefly in the plantation. 3 Swift also in the area.
Corner Rocks Lane a singing and displaying Whitethroat.
3 LBBG in different age phases, c19 BH & 1 Common Gull. I didn't catch up with the leg ringed bird.
Stod Fold had 4 House Martin & 2 Swallow along with a few Jackdaw. It was here that a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions took place; I lost my camera case. Boo bleedin hoo.
Monday, July 11, 2016
2 Chiffchaff, 3 WW, 2 Blackcap, 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 Blackbird, mixed Tit party, 15 Canada.
Also 3 Swallow & Swift; few Goldfinch, 1 House Martin at Bradshaw.
PS It looks as though the leg ringed BHG is from Norway as the country code starts JV. Last year the bird shown in this link turned up on July 17th; making me wonder if it's the same bird. I can't wait to see it again.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Friday, July 08, 2016
Svc stop1: Herring, Goldfinch, 2 Skylark. Then 2 Swift, 3 Buzzard, Kestrel.
Svc stop2: 1 each Buzzard & Kestrel hovering alongside one another, Herring.
I'm birded out now so here's some competition for Larkin, Hughes, Betjeman etc.
My incontinence is really bad, my address 'Of no fixed commode'.
When visiting my GP I was given this advice "Don't buy extended play music, you'll never hear it twice".
I watched Father Ted on TV but my laughter turned to woe; outside a queue of undertakers knocking on my door.
I phoned the angel Gabriel, he answered with some ire "This is air conditioned mate, you're due for some fire".
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Spent 7 hours with relatives today on a non birding visit but some birds chose not to read the script. 5 Swift and a number of Swallows flying round the village on arrival. The place is well away from the coast but still had Herrings passing through. A couple Blackbird busy in the garden and pr House Sparrow mating. The highlight was House Martins have increased their numbers from 4 pr with nests under the family house eaves to 7 with 3 newbies under the old cottage just a metre above my noggin.
A bizarre but most satisfactory ending took place while I was visiting the old churchyard across the road. Imagining that spirit voices were saying effectively 'it won't be long before yr joining us lad' I looked up to see 3 Buzzard circling directly over the house garden! I wonder what the Tarot card reader and Psychic lady who was sat next to me on the trip up would make of that.
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
The downside continues starting today when I arrived at about 1100 hrs. I took a wrong decision and ended up on a private access road. Luckily this got me a Whimbrel which I think is an annual. Also c100 Oystercatcher seen here along with a small number of Shelduck and 3 Little Egret.
Once I got my bearings it came all too obvious that access is a major problem to this side of the vast Exe estuary.
Also seen: several Curlew, c30 Canada, 1 GBBG, few BHG, numerous Herrings, 2 Mute Swan, distant unid Duck sp. A Tern sp. seemed to be calling above my head but strong sunlight prevented a visual.
1 Chiffchaff, Gt Tit bunch, few Linnet, 1 Skylark, 3 Swallows, 1 Grey Heron & a final Little Egret. By the side of the road, 1 sociable Moorhen which allowed pics from this mobile bone.
Back in Torquay an evening stroll round the quayside coughed up a pr Pied Wagtail ditto Rock Pipit and a modicum of Larus Screamsoshrillus.
Verdict? Don't get lulled by good Summer weather, even the coast can be comatose.
On arrival naturally Herring Gulls were prevalent and an evening post meal stroll produced a Rock Pipit which eventually gave itself up to the camera.
A Herring Gull jumped onto a ladies head and pinched part of her biscuit cue one scream and some laughter. In the pm I attempted the Babbacome cliffs which turned up a few Shag and the odd Cormorant. By now the heat and sleep deprivation took its toll so twas off to the shoreline at low tide; it was tedious to say the least. Not a single wader in sight and the only new species was Great Big Bad Gull, just 2 of the muthas. A bit of entertainment was provided by Buzzard cruising about and really cheesing off two crows big time.