Wednesday, 23 September 2015

This Time Last Year

Wryneck, Orcombe Point, Sept. 2014 ( Copyright T D Wright )
When I was reviewing 2014, I never got around to posting these and it's now more than a year since I took them! What a day that was at Orcombe...although my RBF pics weren't very good. Where are they now?! 
Wryneck, Orcombe Point, Sept.2014 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Red-breasted Flycatcher, Orcombe Point, Sept.2014 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Red-breasted Flycatcher, Orcombe Point, Sept. 2014 ( Copyright T D Wright )
RB Flycatcher, Orcombe, Sept.2014 ( Copyright TD Wright )
RB Flycatcher, Orcombe, Sept.2014 ( Copyright T D Wright )
I aged it as a 1st Winter. Not sure about age of Wryneck though...                                                      
Wryneck, Orcombe, Sept.2014 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Wryneck, Orcombe, Sept.2014 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Does the wing-pattern help age it? C U soon!

Seaton Stuff 15th-22nd Sept.

Anything With the Dunlin?, BHM, Sept.2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Ruff, BHM, Sept.2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Well, the Dunlin numbers have gone down and the Ruff have finally moved on. However, we still have 2 Little Stints visiting BHM at High Tide ( they go to SM Hide at Low Tide), and good numbers of Ringed Plover ( 25+ at times). A lone Grey Plover ( Ian McLean saw it first) has been moving around the estuary for a week, and 5 Whinchats from Tower Hide on 18th was a good count. On Saturday 19th some migrants were about; at Axe Cliff we had Whitethroat, Blackcaps ( more Browncaps which suggests good breeding season),Chiffs , Goldcrests and a Wheatear. A ploughed field was carpeted with Mipits and alba Wags, including at least 4 White Wagtail. Also, 2 Goosander flew down the Estuary late on. Yellow Wags seem to be leaving us now but we may yet have a couple left. On 22nd, lots of Swallows and House Martins moved through between the rain-showers. We've still got a couple of Common plus Green Sandpipers too.
Shoveler, BHM, Sept. 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
With Ruff & Blackwit in foreground...'bye for now.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Tern it Up! ( Part Two - White-winged )

White-winged Black Terns, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
White-winged Black Terns, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
White-winged Black Terns, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
White-winged Black Terns, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
White-winged Black Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Before the Whiskereds had even departed, another marsh tern influx occurred. Most of them were WWBTs, but as the experienced Lesvos birders know there's always a 'regular' Black Tern amongst them...                                                                                                                                             

Black Tern with Little and Whiskered Terns, Lesvos,April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
And, on top of the 'marsh' terns, plenty of Littles and Commons...                                                                                        
Little Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright)
Common Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Little Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Little Tern, Lesvos, April 2015
Little Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Little Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Little Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
There were also lots of Sandwich and Gull-billeds which I've shown you before. However, what they don't get is Arctic and Roseate Terns. So, for a Greek or Turkish birder, a trip to Britain to see our many seabirds would be equally exciting!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Seaton Sightings 11 - 14th Sept

Whimbrel, BHM, ( Copyright T D Wright )
Whinchat, Beer Head, 12/09/15 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Barn Owl, BHM, ( Copyright T D Wright )
Sorry it's all phonescoped stuff just now but I got fed up lugging the DSLR around, what with back pain etc. . There's been a few chats around, a Wheatear at Seaton Marshes again today. At least 2 Barn Owls, one seems to like Boshill cross area. We had a few new waders yesterday, Little Ringed Plover BHM and Ringed Plovers at various locations, 8 from Seaton marshes hide again today being my biggest count. The Yellow Wagtails 'in with the cows' at SM seem to have moved on but were performing nicely on 11th & 12th...                                                                                        
Yellow Wagtails, Seaton Marshes, 11/09/15 ( Copyright T D Wright )
video video
We've also had Knot, Turnstone and new Green Sandpipers plus up to 3 Little Stint although I only saw 2 myself. Wigeon numbers reached double figures with 11 from SM hide, and a Common Tern juv. put in a late appearance on Saturday on BHM. Insect-wise, I saw a Southern Hawker at Seaton Hole on 12th, where lots of butterflies were also showing well. By the FSB, we've had more Migrant Hawkers to add to the species I mentioned last time, and I can confirm Azure Damselfly as I got these pics of one...                                                                                                           
Azure Damselfly, Stafford Marsh ( Copyright T D Wright )
Zooming it up, you can see the 'tuning-fork' on the thorax...                                                                   
Azure Damselfly, Stafford Marsh ( Copyright T D Wright )
More to come, I've run out of time for now.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Seaton Sightings 10/09/15

Since Monday's Bittern we've had a couple of quiet days but these Easterly winds started to bring new birds in on Thursday. A Little Stint on BHM and a drake Gadwall on the estuary were my best birds, but other people noted a 2nd Stint and a White Wagtail which I didn't see. More today I hope...

Tern it Up! (Part One-Whiskered)

Whiskered Tern,Lesvos,April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Whiskered Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Whiskered Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Whiskered Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Whiskered Tern, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Whiskered Terns, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Whiskered Terns, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Whiskered Terns, Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Yes, that's right. Those are all Whiskered Terns. I have to say that, second time around, Lesvos gave me the tern experiences I'd yearned for. When the main flock decided to 'Bring the Noise' and flew over me croaking like frogs I was in Tern Heaven. I do hope you're not all getting fed up with me still posting stuff from my Spring Break down there, but I have to say I really liked it there. It's a shame that Lesvos/Lesbos is in the news for less happy reasons just now; being so close to the Turkish coast makes it superb for migrant birds - a different type of 'refugee'. As long as the island remains unspoilt I'll still want to go back there again if I can. Next time - White-wingers!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Twice Bittern

Old Bittern Photo ( Copyright T D Wright )
Blurred Bittern ( Copyright T D Wright )
'Normal' Bittern ( Copyright T D Wright )
With the birding apparently in a bit of a lull - Knot, Whimbrel, 4 Wigeon & Med Gull on the estuary and Ruff , Shoveler and Dunlin on BHM - I decided to check Stafford Marsh and pools for insect activity. A stunning male Southern Hawker and several Emperors plus lots of Darters and various damselfly sp. ( Small Red-eyeds mating plus Blue-tailed and Common Blues plus possible Azure ) was enough to keep me amused with the Sun shining, especially when a Hobby came in to plunder this newly-emerged bounty. However, I was suddenly removed from my reverie when some visitors whom I'd chatted to earlier outrageously claimed to have seen a Bittern. I explained to them that there's only ever been one September Bittern here ( found by me in 2013 - just so you're aware! ) and were they sure? Yes, they said.100%. Oh blast, I thought. Just when I was about to go for my Afternoon tea & tiffin. I texted several locals but they all texted me back with the obvious expectation that I would be the one who trekked all the way to Coly Common hide to check it out. Oh well, I suppose I could make it High Tea and remain parched for a couple of hours I thought. On arrival at said hide all I could see was Hobby again and Common Sandpiper. Typical, I thought. Those people have given me duff gen. I scanned around then suddenly noticed something moving in the reeds fringing the small pool to the right of the hide. It was very obscured but briefly lifted its head to show that it was not the American bittern that everyone was hoping for, but the Seaton Patch's second-ever September Great Bittern (i.e. 'Normal' Bittern ), and Colyford Common LNR's first. The hide now filled up quickly as I told people I was on it, so I finally got to slake my raging thirst with a big pot of Assam ( Earl Grey is rather passe for me now ). In case anybody doesn't know what they look like I've posted some 'Library Pictures' of Standard Bittern with this text ( see above ). Keep 'em coming!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Citrine Wagtails Extra

Citrine Wagtail(1stSummer male),Lesvos,April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Citrine Wagtail(1stSummer male),Lesvos,April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
I was slightly amused when somebody suggested that the reason I spotted a Citrine Wag on BHM on Sunday was because I'm now familiar with them, having seen them in Greece. As you can see from these photographs, the Spring birds are very different to the fresh First-winters that tend to turn up in Britain in the Autumn. Not a trace of yellow on the Black Hole bird; yet in the Spring, even immatures like this one are as eye-catching as lemons ripe for picking. I suppose the bare parts, mantle, coverts and tail are still quite similar though...                                                                                                                          
Citrine Wagtail(1stSummer),Lesvos,April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Citrine Wagtail(1stSummer male),Lesvos,April2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Citrine Wagtail(1stSummer male),Lesvos, April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Citrine Wagtail(1stSummer male),Lesvos,April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Citrine Wagtail(1stSummer male),Lesvos,April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Citrine Wagtail(1stSummer male),Lesvos,April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Citrine Wagtail(1stSummer male),Lesvos,April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )
Citrine Wagtail(1stSummer male),Lesvos,April 2015 ( Copyright T D Wright )