Friday 11 May 2012

7-12 HOBBIES ?! Including a semi-decent pic...

Okay, so this may have been an off-patch venture, but with my recent Hobby sighting at Black Hole Marsh, and with a lot being seen over Exminster Marshes, I just had to go and have a look. It's really satisfying when you go somewhere, with a specific species in mind to go and see, and then you actually see it. Especially when the first Hobby seen was about 5 mins after leaving the car park and looking over the marsh. I took a few snaps of this bird just as record shots rather than for the purpose of decent pics. Here's one of the pics of it landed (light was bad; the sun was directly behind the bird so I had to wait for the sun to go IN. And needless to say it was then a bit dark. I couldn't win!!)

I then noticed a lot of Hirundine disturbance about half a mile further along the marsh. I put my binoculars up and had a look. Yep, Hobby. Then a 2nd. Then a 3rd, 4th, 5th... at least! All hunting over the same area.
Here's one of the (many) shots of it flying:

Stunning birds!

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Some pics to accompany previous post inc. Hobby

Not much time so here's a few pics from the last weekend and previous weekends.
You'll have to try and excuse the terrible image quality of the bird of prey shots. With the speed they were travelling I'm surprised I managed to get any shots at all, especially as viewing time during each attack may have been 2 seconds tops until the bird had flown out of sight again.
Hobby arriving for the first attack

Hobby leaving after first attack

Sparrowhawk taking a dive at BHM

Swallow BHM

Common Sandpiper in front of Tower Hide

Redshank in front of Tower Hide

Garden shot

Monday 7 May 2012

Hobby attacks Black Hole Marsh

After work on Saturday 5th, I motorbiked over to BHM to see what was about. First surprise was the HUNDREDS of Hirundines flying low over BHM. Various birds of prey were trying to take advantage of this. A female Sparrowhawk made 4 attacks, and a HOBBY was also present. It flew through over the marsh very hastily the first time I saw it. I knew something was around because the Hirundines started making a lot of noise and began to fly around, quickly and well above the water. About half an hour later it returned and again attacked. If only the Island hide had a transparent roof; the Hobby flew straight over it so it was hard to get a decent pic, especially with the rate at which it was flying. I'm fairly sure it caught something as after it's final attack it glided relatively slowly over towards some trees, and it certainly looked as though it was intending to land. As I was riding home, I once more saw the Hobby flying, near to where I had approximated it to have landed after the attack from earlier, so it seems as though it probably was sat somewhere in a tree for a while!! (I did walk over to Colyford marshes to see if it was in any of the trees between BHM and there, but with no success. It seems I must have walked passed it- shame)! With such a good show of birds on the 5th, I visited BHM again on the 6th, but it was much quieter. Hardly any Hirundines so I wasn't expecting any bird of prey attacks over the marsh- and there were none. The 3 Grey Plover from the Tower Hide were nice to see (my first ones).
I went for a brief walk down the Coly (Chantry end) today to see what was about. 1st Spot Fly of the year, only saw one but heard a few more. NO kingfisher activity at all. There has been none for the past 3 weeks. Unfortunately both nest sites were heavily disturbed (illegally) by the public and I'm 99% sure that the birds were driven out from their nests BEFORE the floods. Although with the Coly rising over the fields during the flood days, I'm not sure that the nests would have been successful anyway. A great shame as the young should have been fledging either this or next week (based on my findings from previous years) had the disturbance and floods not occurred.
I'll post again within the next few days (hopefully!!) with some pics as I don't have time now. There will also be some from the last 4 weeks, as I also didn't have any time to put posts up at the relevant time.