Friday 14 April 2017

Osprey (another), Red Kite (another) and more Waders

On 13th I had my 3rd Osprey of the spring flying over the Axe near Bridge Marsh. The views of this one were similarly distant to the last and my camera was still in the bag so I didn't manage a dodgy record shot of it. Paul (Lyme), Steve (Axminster) and Phil got on it before me and I was struggling to pick it out but got there in the end; it was below the horizon at this point so picking it out was tricky. There were also still 10 Ringed Plovers on Black Hole Marsh.

This afternoon (14th) I headed to BHM to see if anything new had arrived and about 5 mins after arriving I spotted a raptor flying distantly and high above the estuary. It was too far away to tell what it was through the binoculars but thankfully the photos were more informative; perhaps this is why birders in the other hide got the message but couldn't spot it. There has been a bit of a trend of dodgy record shots on this blog lately so here is another one...

A good 1000 - 1500 metres away!

That's 3 Ospreys and 2 Red Kites I've seen on patch in the last 8 days. That's more of these two species than you will sometimes see in an entire year here depending on luck! We still haven't had any Harriers yet though; Marsh Harrier is definitely due and the Montagu's Harrier from last year arrived on 19th so it's certainly 'that time'. Ideally I'd like to find a nice Hen Harrier as I've not seen one on patch yet.

Other birds of note from this afternoon/evening are 30 + Swallows including a group of 11 (my first double figure count of Swallows so far this year) and 1 martin sp. Also at least 6 of the Ringed Plovers were still on BHM along with a smart Dunlin. 3 Common Sandpipers were new in today at BHM; at last some waders have posed near to Island Hide! Everything has been fairly distant so far this Spring but at least the variety has been good. Here are a few pics of them:

A Peregrine was circling overhead hence the posture here!

Steve messaged late afternoon saying that there were some Pale-bellied Brent Geese heading our way from the East so I headed to the seafront to try and see them. I saw Tim Wright there and we waited a while beyond the time they were due but didn't see them. Lots of gulls went up on the estuary whilst we were there so I thought I might have missed another good raptor i.e. Osprey but upon returning to Black Hole Marsh I asked a few birders who were there and they saw nothing unusual, but reported that not all of the gulls went up and the Godwits etc remained on BHM. Richard (Charmouth) said there was a Buzzard over the estuary at the time too and the gulls were jumpy this afternoon, but it did seem a larger reaction than most Buzzards get. We will never know.

I'm hopeful that this weekend is going to give us some more arrivals so watch this space...

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