Thursday, 30 July 2015

In the Absence of ...

Med Gull, BHM, 29/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Med Gull, BHM, 29/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Well, with Ian McLean away I thought I should put some time in at Black Hole. There's been one Juv. Med on here most of the time and also another put in an appearance on the estuary. Two Juvenile Goosander have been around the estuary on 28th & 29th in the evenings, although last night only fly-bys could be witnessed. A couple of Whimbrel have infiltrated the ubiquitous Curlew flocks, and 3 Dunlin have 'graced' Black Hole at high tide. Peregrine, Kestrel & Sparrowhawk have flushed the Blackwits, Lapwing & Common Sands, plus a couple of Green Sands and Greenshank have been reported from Coly Common as well as BHM. With the tides getting bigger for the weekend we might get some new arrivals...




Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Cetti's Warblers 2015

Cetti's Warbler, Seaton, 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Cetti's Warbler, Seaton, 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Cetti's Warbler, Seaton, 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Cetti's Warbler, Seaton, 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Cetti's Warbler, Seaton, 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Cetti's Warbler, Seaton, 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Cetti's Warbler, Seaton, 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Cetti's Warbler, Seaton, 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
I noticed on the AERG blog that they recently ringed three juvenile Cetti's Warblers. I expect they were from the nest that these adults were visiting in May. I've held these photos back as I didn't want to publicise the nest-site on the internet, even though various locals knew about it. The risk of eggers or vandals might be greatly increased by spreading the news in that way. Anyhow, I've revisited the nest site to make sure they've finished nesting, which they have, so I'm publishing these pictures now as it's already clear from the ringing reports that Cetti's has bred here this year. It's been a while since they last bred but as you can see, this pair did a great job of raising at least 3 young...                      
Cetti's Warbler, Seaton, 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )                      

Banded About...

Banded Demoiselle, Colyton, 27/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
The Coly is excellent for these at this time of year. I actually prefer them to Beautifuls as they're more beautiful than Beautifuls. That variegated wing-pattern, more sharply-defined than on Beautifuls is really eye-catching. It's OK in these stills but, if you can, try to see them on the wing as all four wings show this pattern and it's incredibly beautiful in flight with all wings whirring ( 'all guns blazing' ! ). On Sunday, I saw at least three male Banded together, plus a single female, which was duly mated. Yesterday there was just a lone male but a magnificent one, as you can see. I only took phonescoped pics as I couldn't get close enough with the DSLR, so I might go back with that to try again.                
Banded Demoiselle, Colyton, 27/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Banded Demoiselle, Colyton, 27/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Banded Demoiselle, Colyton, 27/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Banded Demoiselle, Colyton, 27/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )

Winter Sun LBBGs !

I just got an email back from Guernsey Gulls ( Paul Veron et al ) about a presumed adult Lesser Black-backed Gull BOAS4 whose ring I read on the estuary from Tower Hide on 15th, 16th & 17th July 2015. Apparently it was ringed as a pullus at Burhou, Alderney in the Channel Islands on 14/07/2012. It was not seen again until 26th January this year- when the G.G. crew spotted it on the Rabat River in Morocco! A distance of 1786km from where it was ringed . Just six months on and it's here in Devon - 1879km North of its 'Winter Sun' destination. I'm afraid I didn't photograph it as I didn't realise how interesting it was until now. But I had to tell you about it as it's great when you get a good one, isn't it? I've had LBBGs here before which had wintered in Iberia but this one is my first Moroccan. Excellent stuff!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Black Hole Barney

Barn Owl, BHM, July 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Here's a couple of shots of a Barn Owl visiting Black Hole to catch what looked like Short-tailed Voles from one of the grassy islands. About time I managed some bloggable Barn Owl pictures.      
Barn Owl, BHM, July 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Barn Owl, BHM, July 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Barn Owl, BHM, July 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )

Barn Owl, BHM, July 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )

Seaton Damselfly Sightings

Greenshank, BHM ( Copyright T D Wright )
Blue-tailed Damselflies, Seaton, Devon ( Copyright T D Wright )
I've managed to see a few insects around Black Hole and Stafford marshes. The new shelter by the little pool was excellent t'other night. Lots of Blue-tailed Damselflies including one of those wacky rufescens morphs...                                                                                          
Blue-tailed Damselflies, Seaton, Devon ( Copyright T D Wright )

Colyton Sightings

Beautiful Demoiselle ( Copyright T D Wright )
Beautiful Demoiselle ( Copyright T D Wright )
Beautiful Demoiselle ( Copyright T D Wright )
Last year I saw Banded, this year I've seen and now photographed male and female Beautiful Demoiselles along the Coly. So the Info. Board was right after all!    Yes, the males ( top & bottom ) are demoiselles too. Weird, huh?                                                                                     
Beautiful Demoiselle ( Copyright T D Wright )

Not-so-Mute Swans

video
The Swans seem to be spending more time on the estuary these days, which is great. I don't often hear them so filmed this adult calling repeatedly, seeming to want all the immatures to regroup around it, which they did. It's easy to keep looking past them for migrant waders and gulls, so it's a nice reminder when they do something to regain my attention of what magnificent birds they are. Here's a little sequence of them dropping in...                                                                                                  






Mute Swans, Axe Estuary, Devon ( Copyright T D Wright )
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Mute Swans, Axe Estuary, Devon ( Copyright T D Wright )
Mute Swans, Axe Estuary, Devon ( Copyright T D Wright )
Mute Swans, Axe Estuary, Devon ( Copyright T D Wright )

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Yellow-legged Juvenile

Yellow-legged Gull, Axe Estuary, 17/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
I McLean had this bird first on Friday and when I got to the Tower there was nobody there so I thought I'd missed it. However, a quick scan and I stopped on a juvenile that was much larger than the Herring Gulls. It had a pale head with dark smudge around the eyes and a pale 'nose', the above photo is in the evening shade so try this one...                                                                                                                                              
Yellow-legged Gull, Axe Estuary, 17/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
video
video
Very panda-eyed, eh? The tertials were dark and pale-fringed and highlighted by the pale markings on the greater coverts, which start off dark then become paler as they draw alongside the tertials ( see Couzens & Nurney's I.D. Insights book ) which, combined with the whiteness of the tail and the wing-pattern ( slightly paler inner primaries not obvious like on Herring Gull ) convinced me that I'd relocated Mac's YL Juv.  I took some video too which shows the tail briefly with nice dark band plus the dark-spotted white base. Completely dark bill is also a feature. The head looked paler before the low Sun cast its evening shadow in front of the Tower hide. Must start getting there earlier...        
Linnet, BHM, July 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
                    The small finches have been dropping onto BHM to feed, picking around these shoots. Not sure what they're feeding on. Anyone know?                                                                          

Monday, 20 July 2015

Knot Another Blogging...

Knot, Axe Estuary, 19/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
video
I arrived at Tower Hide where a visiting birder told me there was nothing about last night. As he prepared to leave, I started to scan BHM and called him back for a summer-plumaged Knot! He'd clearly been looking the other way as it was quite a striking bird, still very orangey-red in the Sun, although my phonescoped picture of it is unfortunately in the shade and doesn't do it justice. It flew past us and onto the estuary by the time I Mc arrived, then flew back to BHM where it showed again from Island hide. As you can tell, we don't get many Knot...Exe birders must take them for granted but not those of us who live near the Dorset border...here's some video of it too!                                                                                                                 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Late Late Black Hole Show

Mediterranean & Black-headed Gulls, BHM, 15/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
I wasn't sure if it was worth it last night, as there wasn't much daylight left, but I had a brief look at BHM and was glad that I did. The Greenshank, Green Sand., Blackwits, Lapwings and Dunlins were still about, plus 2 Little Ringed Plovers near Island Hide. I was also delighted to see that there had been an influx of Med Gulls, with at least a dozen birds of various ages. I only took phonescoped shots at dusk, so the quality isn't great, but other locals have been down there this morning so some nice pictures are available on Steve Waite's Axe Birding blog. It's a good opportunity to familiarise yourself with this species, almost as good as Copt Point, Folkestone used to be in my Kentish days...                                                                                
Mediterranean Gulls+ BH Gulls, BHM, 15/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Little Ringed Plovers, BHM ,15/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Med Gull, BHM,15/07/2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Lesviot Yellow Wagtails

Yellow Wagtail, Lesvos, 25th April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
The middle Saturday of my fortnight was the rainiest day. Therefore I decided to do some birding from the car and found that the inclement weather had brought about a marvellous fall of Yellow wags at Alikoudi pool. I had them all to myself and was overwhelmed by all the variety. I took lots of pix and here I hope I've identified them all correctly...                                                                                                             
Motacilla Flava Flava, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Superciliaris, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Superciliaris, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Superciliaris, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Flava, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Feldegg, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Flava, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Flava, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Flava, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Superciliaris, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
M.F.Superciliaris, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Feldegg, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Motacilla Flava Feldegg, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
And while I'm at it, here's another feldegg from the Kalloni saltpans...                                                    
Black-headed Wagtail, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Black-headed Wagtail, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Black-headed Wagtail, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Black-headed Wagtail, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Black-headed Wagtail, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Black-headed Wagtail, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Black-headed Wagtail, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Nice little sequence, plus the combination of background colouration and the bird's yellow reflection make up for any imperfections as regards sharpness. It also shows wing and tail patterns which is nice. I also saw dombrowskii and Citrine Wagtail at the saltpans, but that's enough pics for one post!