Friday 6 April 2012

Red Kite over Seaton Marshes

I was finally free from my compulsory daily duties by early afternoon so I headed to Seaton Marshes for a change (prompted by Steve Waite's report of a Redstart from yesterday; no luck with that one though). After checking the Burrow Pit and seeing nothing other than a Mute Swan...

... I carried on to the hide. After about 3 minutes ALL the gulls on the Estuary went up. And stayed up; they circled overhead for a fair while and this is the reason why:

First Red Kite I've ever seen (anywhere, not just on patch). The pic is lacking in IQ as it's been heavily cropped; the bird was flying very high up on thermals. This was at 14:55. I spoke to a few other birders who turned up there but no-one else saw it... Anyone over at BHM should have had some nice views as it started gaining height from only a couple hundred metres up in that area. It was a good 1/2 mile up by the time it was over Seaton Marshes where I was.
After that bit of excitement, there was another nice surprise:

Nothing special, but it is only the 3rd one I've seen in the wild in my life (alive one, I've seen hundreds of dead ones!!).

Brief bit of Kingfisher news from the Coly. A few days ago I went for a quick look by the river, and FINALLY saw a female Kingfisher which is a definite gender ID (there have been a couple of questionables). There was a lot of Kingy noise, and looking at the mannerisms of these birds, an unwelcome one was close by:

(Posting a deliberately bad pic. For reasons see last blog post!)

These two were in the area between the two Kingfishers nests which I already mentioned in a previous post; are abnormally close together. Not altogether that surprising that there's some territorial rivalry going on.

I think I'm going to have to give up on the patch year list idea. It's become very clear that other local patch birders are able to invest a LOT more time into birding than I am! I check the blogs at both of my breaks during my working days (usually 5/6 days a week and the remaining day/(s) has/have other fixed commitments) and it's quite depressing to see the majority of the local birders being able to go out at pretty much any time of the day if something of interest should arrive on the patch. Ahhh this is a luxury which I wish I had the time and freedom for. So, with no chance of getting a reasonable list, I might as quit whilst I'm err... behind (my list is currently 50 short of Gavin's relatively impressive total). I know, It's my fault for working the amount that I do, but hey; I need money. Quite frankly I'd gladly do 80-100 hours if I was allowed.