Friday, 23 December 2016

Masked Wagtail

Masked Wagtail, Pembrokeshire, 21/12/16(Copyright T D Wright)
Masked Wagtail,Pembrokeshire,21/12/16(Copyright T D Wright)
I chauffeured Kevin Hale to Derbyshire & Pembrokeshire this week(I've rented a car for a fortnight).We saw the Dusky Thrush at Beeley then detoured to Camrose on the way back for this stunning Masked Wagtail. I spoil him...
Masked Wagtail,Pembrokeshire,21/12/16(Copyright T D Wright)

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Cattle Egret Still

Having been missing for a bit, the Colcombe Farm Cattle Egret was back again today. Seen from the bench along the road to Shute & Honiton. A bit distant though...

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Seaton/Colyton News

A walk around Seaton Marshes today produced a pair of Bullfinch, several Goldcrest & 2 Chiffchaff. On North flood 3 Shoveler accompanied the Wigeon & Teal, whilst in the channel by the hide a Common Sandpiper was a mild surprise. Back in Colyton, 7 Fieldfare flew over me chacking away as I awaited the old 'boneshaker' AVMT bus. Maybe I'll add Cattle Egret to the bus stop list soon...

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Colyton News

Cattle Egrets, Portugal, 2015(Copyright T D Wright)
That's right, I didn't get a photograph of the Colyton Cattle Egret as it was too distant but it looked quite like these ones as they were photographed last November so in Winter Plumage. Well done to Steve Waite for putting the effort in up here and locating the bird at Colcombe Farm. I watched it late on yesterday with 'Corkhead' and saw it fly down the Coly at 16:12. Ian McLean saw it in flight this morning (Tuesday) but it must have flown off as between 11:30 and 13:00 all I saw was a flock of 20 Littles which then flew North. On Friday there were 20 Chiffchaff and 10 Goldcrest at Colyton WTW. On Sunday, I took a walk up to Ratshole Gate as people have told me they've seen Goosander up that way recently but no joy although I saw at least 20 Redwing and 7 Fieldfare up there. Also Kingfisher and Grey wagtails but still no Dippers (last Dipper sighting Sept.2014 sadly). On a more positive note, I'm still seeing Little Owl along the Coly and today I spoke to Martin Diplock(Chartered Surveyors) who told me that rumours of the imminent demolition of the old building the Owls use are unfounded. Apparently the Council have said that this must not happen as plans to clear the site for housing have been refused. I believe that river management is also an issue which has stifled development plans. So, for now at least, the owls will still have their 'roof space'. Hurrah!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Xmas Fieldfare

A quick look around Colyton before Wednesday's Christmas Fayre produced a single Fieldfare in the apple trees by the Garden Shop. Fantastic views though!

Deja Vu Birding Part 2

2016 has been a year of deja vu experiences for me. One of the best was the Montagu's Harrier which graced the Axe valley for 3 days in April. Cycling home along Cownhayne Lane on the 3rd day (Tuesday) of its stay, I noticed it being mobbed by corvids about 500m North of the A3052 bridge. After texting people to let them know it was ranging around up there I noticed it had perched on a telegraph pole. Suddenly, deja vu took me back to the 1990s when I had stood in exactly the same place and seen a female Montagu's perched in just the same spot! If only I were still in touch with my then birding pal from 'Plymouth Poly' as it was then he would be most amused to know that I'd now seen my second Montagu's on the same telegraph pole that we saw one on back in 1994/5( I think ). The neural pathways that I damaged in my car-crash in 1996 must be connecting back up I suppose...or, it's just that 20-year-old memories need a jolt sometimes. The same thing happened in 2014 when we had a Kumlien's Gull by the tramsheds. It jolted my memory of one I saw in the same place back in 1994/5 era. I wonder what else I'll remember about birding around Seaton in the 1990s during 2017? I know that I recall seeing a drake Garganey fly up the estuary from the farm gate back in the 1990s just as I did in March 2013. Perhaps, as the Buzzcocks once sang, I was spending my 1990s visits to the Axe estuary "surfing a wave of Nostalgia for an age yet to come"...

Monday, 5 December 2016

Axe in the Afternoon 02/12/16

On Friday I cycled up from the tramsheds to Coronation Corner and counted 57 Dunlin. A lone 1stWinter Shoveler was the other point of interest. Further up the valley I could see a pair of Gadwall on the Axe from the Farm Gate. We've done really well for Gadwall this Autumn/Winter so far, with 7 together on Black Hole Marsh the last Saturday in November being the peak. Around Colyton we still have Redwing, Fieldfare & Little Owl but not much else.

Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat (Copyright T D Wright)
Lesser Whitethroat (Copyright T D Wright)
Lesser Whitethroat (Copyright T D Wright)
Lesser Whitethroat (Copyright T D Wright)
Lesser Whitethroat (Copyright T D Wright)
Can anyone tell me which race of Lesser Whitethroat this is? By the way, I did not take these pictures today!