Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Photogenic Redwings

I've still not managed to get out specifically for birding due to work commitments but I came across a Thrush flock whilst working a job in Colyton. Yesterday there were 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Fieldfare and 9+ Redwing present but today this had changed to 2 Mistle Thrush, 5 Song Thrush and 12+ Redwing (plus some smaller birds including Coal Tit and Goldcrest).

Here's a couple pics of some of the Redwing (more to come when I can get to it)!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Flooding in the Axe Valley

It's been rather wet lately! Monday 21st saw some flooding locally with roads closed around Colyton and Colyford. The amount of water was pretty insignificant compared to the flood a few years ago but with the peak of that flood being 1am - 2am, most people would not have seen it! That was certainly a very impressive flood to witness (although the resulting damage was a shame of course).

I managed to get a few snaps of the flooded fields & roads in Colyton; there were some stranded cars (containing a lot of water) but thankfully damage caused seems relatively low this time.

View of Colyton Playing Fields

View near Umborne Bridge

View near Umborne Bridge

View from Chantry Bridge 

View from Chantry Bridge

View from Chantry Bridge

View from Chantry Bridge

I haven't been able to get out birding recently as work is occupying nearly all of my conscious time. Hopefully there'll be some more bird related posts soon...

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Spoonbill on Patch

Another Spoonbill turned up on patch today - Ian Mc sent a message around 10am but I couldn't get down for a while. I set out early afternoon but others said there had been no sign so I thought the opportunity had gone. I figured Seaton Marshes is the place it's most likely to be able to hide from us so I waited there hoping it'd give itself up (assuming it was still around somewhere). Good decision! It was using small pools on the banks in front of Seaton Marshes Hide so it was out of sight for extended periods of time. I sent out messages to others who hadn't managed to find it but then the bird headed high and West over the town so it seemed as though it was moving on. Thankfully it returned 10 mins later and sat out on the Estuary until dusk.

Here's a few snaps, most of them fairly distant. Light was also at a premium as it was a dull & damp afternoon (photos were taken at ISO 4000 and the shutter speeds were still struggling).

Monday, 7 November 2016

Back out on Patch

It's been a while! I've been neglecting this blog and the patch lately due to an excessive combination of illness and work commitments, so it was good to be able to get out for a short while yesterday and today. In my absence there's been 2 goodies on patch with Ian Mc having a Spoonbill on the estuary and Steve finding a drake Pochard at Borrow Pit. The Spoonbill was the 2nd of the year after my one back on August 25th; this recent one was ringed so it'll be interesting to see if anyone can determine where it has come from. Both the Spooner and the Pochard have left us now - the latter would have been a first for me here so it's a shame to have had to miss it, especially with it being a drake. Perhaps there'll be another if the Winter has some decent freezes.

Whilst not seeing the Pochard yesterday morning, I did see 3 Tufted Duck at Borrow Pit. Bun and Sue Smith later arrived and said there had been 4 Tufties there yesterday; it's been a good year for them here with at least 8 Tufted Duck being seen (so far). Here's an Autumnal shot of the 3 remaining birds:

The best from this morning was singles of Grey Plover and Little Stint on Black Hole Marsh. Despite a lack of any new birds the weather was just perfect for a morning outside.

Monday, 24 October 2016

White-fronted Goose at Colyford Common

Andy Bond and Dave Stone found a White-fronted Goose on the 19th whilst looking for the Turtle Dove (which seems to have moved on now). It was pretty distant - I don't normally post record shots quite this bad but it's the first I've seen here so is worth making an exception for:

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Turtle Dove on Patch!

A text from Steve shortly after 5pm had me rushing down to Bridge Marsh; he'd re-found the Turtle Dove which other Tim found a while ago. This is the 1st one I've seen in the UK so I'm glad it was on patch. With the massive decline of this species in the UK it begs the question of whether or not we'll get another one here.

Ian Mc had a Yellow-browed Warbler at Seaton Hole in the week and as soon as I got the message I went for a look. After searching for an hour or so I gave up but then thought I heard it call as I was driving back out. YBW are normally really obvious on call but it's not as easy from inside the car with other noises going on! Determined to see it I turned around and went back. Needless to say the following hour of additional searching yielded no sign of it at all. A shame but hopefully there'll be more to come. I don't 'list' so therefore don't 'need' any bird, but I just really like to see & appreciate them!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Baird's Sandpiper

It's been pretty quiet on the birding front for me so far this month, primarily due to work having returned to 100+ hrs/week territory! In my absence there's been a couple of patch goodies this week; other Tim found a Turtle Dove midweek then a Great White Egret on the evening of 7th. I did manage to get out on patch briefly this afternoon; Ian Mc found 3 - 4 Ring Ouzels at Beer Head so I headed up for a look. It took 30 mins or so for one to appear but eventually Dave H and I had some excellent flight views of 2 together.

As I was 'in the area' on Thursday afternoon I thought it'd be worth a look around Davidstow Airfield for the lingering Baird's Sandpiper. I only saw it briefly before it started to get dark but the views were pretty good...

Fine dining

Checking out some of the poop on offer...

Very close approach to the car for this shot - I just sat and waited for the bird to come to me

Taken at Sunset in the last few seconds of direct Sunlight