Thursday, 16 April 2015

Spring Gets A Second Wind

Sedge Warbler ( Copyright T D Wright )
Well, immediately after my last post I went to Seaton Marshes and realised that new birds were arriving. I saw and heard my first Sedge Warbler this year at the Borrow Pit then saw my first Common Sand from the Hide. This encouraged me to go to BHM and I wasn't disappointed. 30-40 Sand Martin were there, and from Tower hide I saw my first Whimbrel and Greenshank. Today (Thursday) Tim White had a Red Kite over Colyton and when I scanned the sky looking for it I got my first Swift this year over the Church. Things are happening now, KH had a Gropper reeling this morning at Bunts Lane too. Long may it continue!                                      
Blackcap ( Copyright T D Wright )
I still need to get a really good Blackcap pic!                                                    
Little Owl ( Copyright T D Wright )
The same could be said for Little Owl!                                            
Swallow ( Copyright T D Wright )
And a flight shot of a hirundine would be an achievement. The House Martins have just arrived to join the others so it's 'Game ON' from here on. I may have to go away soon but don't worry, any halt in posting will only be temporary. See you all soon!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Axmouth Pics 11-14th April

Osprey ( Copyright T D Wright )
The Axmouth lanes didn't yield much yesterday in the fog, so I'll show you some recent shots of common birds if that's OK...                                                                                    
Osprey ( Copyright T D Wright )
I mean, we may not always get Pied flys and Ring Ouzels but we do so well for Ospreys they count as common here. We count our blessings, as they say. You can't expect everything on your doorstep,can you?                                                                                                     
Canada Goose ( Copyright T D Wright )
The Canadas have spread to Seaton Marshes and seem to keep putting the gulls up. Most inconsiderate! I'll try the lanes instead...                                                                
Robin ( Copyright T D Wright )
At least these common birds are often very obliging...                                                      
Swallow ( Copyright T D Wright )
Swallow ( Copyright T D Wright )
The hirundines take a break sometimes.                                                                 
Blackbird ( Copyright T D Wright )
And the Blackbirds keep an eye on you. Lots of Blackcaps about still, I ought to get a picture but too foggy yesterday, even up Stepps Lane. Apparently Phil and Bun had a Puffin on Sunday plus Manxies so the Sea can still produce something interesting. Keep looking everyone! And enjoy the common birds too!

Monday, 13 April 2015

A Day Off-Patch

Pied Wagtail ( Copyright T D Wright )
Plenty of these at BHM plus a few Swallows but not much else On Patch, save the Sandwich Terns off Seaton Hole, so I headed over to Bowling Green RSPB on Saturday to see if I could find something different to photograph. On arrival, I was immediately astonished by the massive swarm of Sand Martins. There were squadrons zooming about all over the place, I would estimate 500 in the area. If the same was the case for the other Exe estuary sites, there must have been thousands! On the Axe, we're struggling to get dribs and drabs of them just now. From the hide, several Shoveler were visible but I pressed on to the platform as the tide was out. I immediately noticed this fella lurking among the Redshanks...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Spotted Redshank ( Copyright T D Wright )
             
Spotted Redshank ( Copyright T D Wright )
          Nice to catch him before he leaves. There were also 7 Greenshanks but a bit far away for photos. In case you want to see a picture of one, here's an old shot from 2014...                        
Greenshank ( Copyright T D Wright )
              Not a bad afternoon, but let's hope things pick up on Patch, eh?

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Local Sightings 6-9th April 2015

Osprey ( Copyright T D Wright )
Well the Ospreys keep coming, with daily reports on the Axe, and we've had some wader movement. On Monday, the Sanderling had gone but the Dunlin remained. Also 2 LRPs were on BHM, increasing to 3 on Tuesday apparently. Just before dusk on Tuesday KH and myself saw 7 Ruff arrive, but only 2 remained on Weds. Wednesday 8th saw 7 Wheatears and a Stonechat on Sheeps Marsh, with 3 more accompanying the 2 Greylags on Coly Marsh. Several Red Kites flew over the Patch this day, with 2 together over Seaton, all moving West. There was also a noticeable arrival of Blackcaps, I had new ones at Higher Lane, Seaton marshes and Seaton Hole. Good numbers of Hirundines and Phylloscs are about, and KH had a male Redstart at Beer Cem. fields. No Patch Ouzels or Flycatchers yet, but they're coming...any day now! I took the opportunity to grab a Red-Legged Partridge picture...                                                                                 
Red-legged Partridge ( Copyright T D Wright )
And a Yammer...                                                                       
Yellowhammer ( Copyright T D Wright )
And a Coal Tit...                                                                                          
Coal Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Coal Tit ( Copyright T D Wright)
Coal Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )

Penduline Gluttony

Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
You know, in its own way. the Penduline Tit is just as voracious a predator as the Osprey. In this selection of shots, and also the video clips, we can see them gobbling up several of the moth larvae that Karen Woolley has already discussed on her blog. See if you can spot them!                            
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
video
video
video

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Easter Weekend Goodies

Linnet ( Copyright T D Wright )
Plenty of these around BHM still. Shouldn't they stop flocking and start breeding?                       
Slavonian Grebe ( Copyright T D Wright )
This has turned into a 'stayer',as they say. It ranges from Fisherman's Gap to Beer. Still present at Easter. Also offshore on Saturday were 2 Sandwich Terns fishing far out so no pics. Anyway, having seen the local Mullet crucified by Ospreys on Good Friday, I wondered what astonishing sight might astound us on Easter Sunday. A few new waders about- LRP on BHM, several Dunlin and a Sanderling from Tower Hide which I thought might be best bird of the day. I mean, we don't get many Sanderling so I thought I was a real hero when it got 'twitched' by local year-listers. I saw them depart from Coronation Corner in a hurry which I presumed meant that their spouses were waiting to dish up the dinner. Suddenly my phone rang-"Penduline Tit Field Centre!" I legged it down the track and was greeted by Kevin Hale, who'd put the news out. "There's 2 of 'em" I was told. Naturally, the negative news from Darts Farm made us think these were they, but anyway who cares, they're just fantastic aren't they?                                                                                                   
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Penduline Tit ( Copyright T D Wright )
Love that black 'bandit mask'! More on next post...

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Easter Birding Gluttony

Osprey ( Copyright T D Wright )
Osprey ( Copyright T D Wright )
Osprey ( Copyright T D Wright )
video
How many more shall I post? Perhaps I should save some for later. Oh, I know; I'll post some video including that corvid interaction...   More tomorrow! Out of time...                                                       

Easter Resurrects Blogging Axe Birders!

Greylag Geese ( Copyright T D Wright )
These two have been hanging around since before Easter. I wonder if they laid the two 'Golden Eggs' that turned up on Good Friday and Easter Sunday? On Friday, I was already having a good day with Wheatear (fem) and several Swallows and Willow Warblers at Seaton Marshes. I later had Sand Martin and 8 Ringed Plovers from Tower hide. In between all this, I arrived at Coronation Corner and checked my messages...Osprey Cory Corner! I transferred my gaze from my phone to the sky and this is what I saw...                                                                                                       
Osprey ( Copyright T D Wright )
Osprey ( Copyright T D Wright )
I watched it with Phil whose text it had been and it splashed down in front of Tower hide and caught a huge Mullet. To our surprise, it then settled on a rock in the middle of the estuary with its prize. I dashed around to the Seaton Cem carpark and was coted by Sue Smith who bombed past me on her bike like Laura Trott in a pursuit at the Olympics. By the time my Shanks's Pony had got me to the Tower the bird had flown, I was told. Blast, I thought. Then suddenly, all the gulls,godwits and Shelducks went up again.A second Osprey! This one tried to fish by the Tower too but ended up heading down to Axmouth harbour. Two minutes later, however, it came back to us with a freshly caught mullet...
Osprey ( Copyright T D Wright )
It then settled down just like its predecessor and proceeded to consume its quarry...         
Osprey ( Copyright T D Wright )
Osprey and Shelduck ( Copyright T D Wright )
It shifted its ground a couple of times but remained where we could see it. It went in through the mullet's eyes and had its brains first! Here, we can see the rear half of the fish in its talons, the forequarters having been completely demolished. The local corvids and gulls mostly kept their distance, except for one very brave or cunning Carrion Crow which scrounged a few morsels but had to take evasive action. I have some video footage of this which I will also post...