Monday, 18 November 2019

Weekend Birding

    Just to let people know that the 3 Cattle Egrets were still in their favourite field at Colyton all weekend. Also 3 Little Egrets there and 7 Stonechats. Fieldfare and Redwing are about as are Dippers, Grey Wags and Kingfishers. Didn't make it to the wetlands but saw a Red-throated Diver off Fisherman's gap this morning (Monday). Apparently there's been a few about...

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Colyton Cattle Egrets

         Walking around Colyton at this time of year can often produce a bird or two. Little Owl, Tawny Owl and Dippers are about. Up to 18 Fieldfare, 4 Redwing and 6 Mistle Thrush have been seen. I thought I saw a Ring Ouzel being chased by a Blackbird at the picnic site but can't be 100% sure of that. Several Chiffchaffs along the hedgerows and myriad Goldcrest & LT Tits. A Greenshank has been hanging about in the field opposite the Wastewater Treatment Works. Best of all these has been the 3 Cattle Egrets which I ran into again today beside the Coly. Hidden behind cows, hedgerows, gulls and Little Egrets they aren't always co-operative but can be seen with a little patience. Plenty of finches, woodpeckers and even Treecreepers about too.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Birding Again!

After a 5-week period of not having time to visit the Wetlands, I finally re-acquainted myself with BHM and Coly Common yesterday. A Tufted Duck and 7 Shoveler were on the former but only one Dunlin.
From Tower hide a Greenshank was visible.Then a suspiciously yellow-legged larid caught my eye. I thought it had a stonking bill and was as big as the Herring gulls close by. However, its closed primaries had too much white on them for an immature bird. I don't think it was a full adult so it may have been a hybrid. Its mantle colour was about right for either. Mike Blaver was still watching it when I left so I hope he got better pictures of it than the phonescoped video I posted on Twitter.
Coly Common was disappointing but a Cattle Egret was on Bridge Marsh. A Greenshank appeared on the scrape so may have been a second bird.

Today, I managed a brief visit to Axe Yacht Club but all the Black Redstarts were along the street to the west of the coastguard cottages. Four of them were seen, including a striking male.
Over the road, a Common Sandpiper was on the estuary.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Ruff Weather

      All I could manage again last week was a Sunday afternoon visit to Tower Hide and Coly Common. It was worth it though as I had a Ruff on BHM amongst the Redshanks and Phil spotted another from Coly Hide. Both were female sized and probably both juveniles. Greenshanks were visible from both hides too. Singles of Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper were on the estuary and BHM respectively so not bad for the dying days of September.
     October looks like being a busy month for me so I'm not sure if I can fit birding in at all. I will be back at some point though...

Monday, 23 September 2019

Rare Update

     Finally managed a brief visit to BHM Sunday afternoon and was surprised by the numbers of birds present. A Curlew Sandpiper was visible near the walkway and a Barwit was viewable (with a scope) from Island Hide. Two juvenile female Ruff were on the estuary then flew to BHM also. A Green Sandpiper was there too.
      From Tower Hide, a lone Common Sandpiper flew upriver past a single Greenshank . Best bird of all was a juvenile/female Pintail asleep in front of the hide. It took off and seemed to land on Coly Marsh. Plenty of blackberries and apples to scrump along the cycle route on the way home too!

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Barn Owl in the Headlights

       I had to work all day Sunday and didn't get home until midnight so no wetlands birding for me unfortunately. The best I could do was lots of House Martins over Colyton area in the morning then a Barn Owl perched on a post in the headlights of my chauffeur's car* just to the NW of Colyton. Finding time for birds is tricky just now but I hope to report from the wetlands again soon.

*Thanks for the lift, Matt!

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Spotted Flycatcher & Whinchat

      A lunchtime visit to BHM produced no new waders on Wednesday. Ruff, Knot, Barwit & Greenshank singles were still about. The best bird from Tower Hide was a Whinchat amongst the Stonechats on the estuary islands. At Colyford Common (well, the cycle path) on the way through a small group of passerines contained a Spotted Flycatcher, Blackcap (female), Bullfinch(juv) and several phylloscs. It was good to see Chris of South Devon Birds & Wildlife paying us a visit but unfortunately the Osprey was not showing during either of our birding 'windows'. Apparently at least one of the 2 is still present this morning as MB told me he saw one about.