Wednesday, 20 April 2016

MONTY vs KITE and more patch goodies

After the decent fall of Wheatear etc yesterday I gave Colyford Common a good look around again this morning. Montagu's Harrier was an optimistic target species but alas it was not there. There were 2 Whitethroat and a Blackcap in the bushes at the North end of the Common but it was otherwise quiet. Black Hole Marsh yielded singles of Ringed Plover and Knot (definitely not a Sanderling) and Clive later had a summer plumage Barwit and 2 Greenshank flying upstream from Tower Hide.

An evening visit to Seaton Marshes was also fruitful, with the Whinchat which Bun found this morning showing well. I picked up another Whitethroat in the same bush and also caught up with Phil's female Redstart. Tim Wright was searching for the Redstart from Seaton Hide so I gave him a ring when I'd spotted it, only to find that he was watching another one! His was a nicer one too, an immature male. I managed a couple of VERY bad pics of it (taken at high ISO in near darkness) so hopefully it's still around in the morning for another opportunity...

Yeah, I said it was a bad pic! Here's a couple pics of Whitethroat and Blackcap that were at Colyford Common:

And now what you really came here for - the MONTY vs RED KITE fight. A few people have now nagged me to post them so here they are. Very distant - check. Heavily cropped - check. Fantastic to witness - CHECK CHECK CHECK.

This experience was another one of those special & unexpected moments, only bested by seeing 6 Kingfishers posing on one single branch on a local river back in 2011.

A Kestrel and Peregrine also provided some photo opportunities today but I think that's enough content for this post. More tomorrow...


  1. Hi Tim. That's a really interesting Redstart, I take it its the 1w male? This is how I would expect a 1w male to look in autumn, but all the spring 1 year (2nd cal year) Redstarts I've seen and trapped essentially look like spring male Redstarts and not females. I would have said this was a female but for the faint white forehead stripe which is only a male trait. It could be an old female that has taken on some male plumage features (this does happen) but I am really interested in it. Be interesting to know if samamisicus Redstart moult is the same as ours as this bird also shows something of a wing panel...

    1. Hi Steve. Yes this is the one we put as imm male but we also had doubts as it generally looks female-ish. The white on the forehead is fairly obvious though which I thought pointed to male, but then again the cheeks aren't very contrasty. Interesting what you said about females taking on male plumage features - I didn't realise that could happen! Just to confuse things ;) Will have a look at some of the other pics in case a different angle gives anything useful.