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.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Knot: A Record

Wood Sandpiper,BHM,August 2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Wood Sandpiper,BHM, August 2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Little Stint with Dunlin, BHM, August 2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Curlew Sandpipers plus Dunlin, BHM, August 2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Knot, BHM, August 2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
The flow of waders kept on coming over the weekend when this solitary Knot was joined by a flock of 8 on Black Hole Marsh. I don't recall ever having 9 here before so I think that's a record! Many of the species mentioned in the last couple of posts were also still around, and I was impressed with the small scrape at Coly Common which held 5 very vocal Green Sandpipers. The main scrape there had 2 Whimbrel amongst the Curlews. Wheatears & Yellow Wagtails are about, as was a single Whinchat between BHM and Seaton Marshes one evening. A lone Ruff arrived after the trio had departed.
     On the insect front, at least one Long-tailed Blue was still present on the everlasting pea (sea pea?) by the rivermouth on Monday at 16:00. Over & Out!

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Little Barwit & Stint

          The flow of birds continues! Brendan Shiels had a Little Stint on BHM on Friday which I checked out in the evening. An adult bird as opposed to the juveniles we usually seem to get more of. Scanning the Blackwit flock for the 3 missing Ruff I stumbled upon a Barwit, a very diminutive looking individual dwarfed by the Blackwits beside it! And so the wader list continues to rise. Several of Thursday's birds still present; 3 Curlew Sands & a Knot.
          At Coly Common a lone Whimbrel again among the Curlew. Also Yellow Wagtail distantly, on Bridge Marsh with the cattle.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Fresh Waders

      Just a quick update as last evening I popped down to BHM and Coly Common to find that Phil Abbot had discovered some new migrant waders on BHM ahead of me. A moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper was flanked by 2 juveniles and 3 Ruff were also fresh in. Whilst scoping them I stumbled across a juvenile Knot too. Two Greenshanks and a Green Sandpiper plus the usual suspects were also present.
      At Coly Common 2 Yellow Wagtails were my first of the Autumn and at least one Wheatear was about. Another Green Sand joined the Curlews on the scrape but not too much from the hide.
      Apparently the Osprey is still about too! That's all for now though.