Tuesday 29 August 2017

Yellow Wags and posing Snipe

We've had a good number of Yellow Wags for over a week now with up to triple figures of them in the valley here. This evening was perhaps the quietest one of late with only a few showing/calling so perhaps the NW winds prompted a bit of a clear out today.

The waders have remained fairly similar on Black Hole Marsh recently with the lingering Ruff being the best of it. Other notables include up to 6 Greenshanks and 11 Green Sandpipers as my peak counts, with 3-5 of each more typical most days. Snipe and Teal numbers are building with 11+ and 25+ respectively and some of the former were showing very well yesterday morning. 

None of the Snipe shots are particularly detailed as strong sunlight will nearly always result in heat haze to some extent. Still, I've never known them to show so well here!









Yellow Wagtail

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Sandwich Tern showing well at BHM

We don't get many Terns North of the seafront here so it was nice to have a Sandwich Tern sat on BHM yesterday morning, showing well. It did the decent thing and flew quite close to Tower Hide when it headed out to sea as well...

Other highlights from yesterday and this morning include:

20+ Yellow Wagtails
2+ Wheatear
1 Cattle Egret
21+ Ringed Plover
4+ Greenshanks
8+ Green Sands with 1 on BHM this morning and a group of 7 flying over (was hoping they'd drop in at BHM but they continued South).

Monday 21 August 2017

MEGA: American Yellow Warbler

A phone call from Bun had me cut my gym session short to see if I could free up some time to go to Portland and shortly afterwards Ian Mc (thanks to him for driving), Bun and I were heading East. We had brief views of the bird pretty much as soon as we arrived on site but it was very elusive. However, an hour or so later this happened...

Apparently it showed much better after we left so there may be some crippling shots to come from other people soon...

Thanks to Duncan, the finder!

Knot joins the waders at BHM

With some rough weather on Sunday afternoon & evening it was worth a look at BHM to see if anything had dropped in. Upon arrival there were 3 Yellow Wagtails and 5 Snipe on mud at the back of BHM. A look from Tower Hide proved worthwhile as I saw a Knot fly in and then land, our first of the Autumn. Apologies for the pic being so awful; the bird was very distant and taken through a lot of rain...

Here are a couple of recent pics from when birds were posing slightly better:

Green Sandpiper



Saturday 19 August 2017

YLG, Yellow Wags & lots of waders

This is primarily a photo post as I haven't uploaded enough recently! 18th August yielded nothing new for the year but totals included:

4 Greenshank
3 Green Sandpiper
8+ Common Sandpiper
12+ Ringed Plover
50+ Dunlin
61+ Black-tailed Godwit
2 Snipe
1 Little Ringed Plover
3 Yellow Wagtails (overhead)

Lots more recent pics to come but here are a few for now...

Friday 18 August 2017

Quick update on a good day

Thursday 17th August:
Plenty of pics to come but little time to sort them out so here's a very brief summary. A morning visit to BHM yielded 3 Greenshanks, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Cattle Egret, 1 Snipe and 1 Cattle Egret. A look from Tower Hide yielded great views of a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on the estuary.

Another visit to BHM in the evening yielded 3 Greenshanks (plus a 4th on the estuary) and 3 Green Sands some of which were showing very well at times. There were also 50+ Dunlin and 4 Med Gulls (1 adult and 2 juvenile --> 1st Winter on BHM and another juvenile --> 1st Winter on the estuary).

I'm surprised to have not seen a few more wader species recently; Ruff, Wood Sand and Little Stint must all be imminent and hopefully something a bit rarer too...

Sunday 13 August 2017

Wader pics

Well I'm still waiting for something really good! BHM has seen little change recently with a Cattle Egret and an LRP remaining as the best birds. The LRP was very vocal and flighty last night so it may have been thinking of leaving... There are also still 2 Greenshanks and at least 1 Green Sandpiper about.

Black-tailed Godwit numbers are now into the 70s and some have been posing well at times:

Black-tailed Godwits


Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

Green Sandpiper

Tuesday 8 August 2017

LRP, Cattle Egrets and Mink

An early visit to Tower Hide yielded a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on the estuary right in front of Coronation Corner, perhaps the bird which arrived late the previous evening. After having a couple flyover Yellow Wags recently (heard but not seen) it was nice to see perhaps 6 Yellow Wagtails perched up yesterday. I had 4+ from Tower Hide in the morning; they dropped in during a brief rain shower and there were a couple at BHM in the evening. 

Other birds of note included 2 Cattle Egrets, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 juvenile Med Gulls, 1 Greenshank and a juvenile LRP which Ian W found in the afternoon. Seaton Marshes was quiet apart from a showy Buzzard.

This Mink was sat underneath a perch that one of the juvenile Kingfishers was fishing from. It watched the Kingfisher diving from perhaps 2 foot away so it was rather uncomfortable to see. 

Monday 7 August 2017

Cattle Egret pics and Patch Update

At least 2 Cattle Egrets are still with us and have been showing well at times. One flew over the tram track and didn't come out the other side so I had a look in the tree (approx 120 ft away)...

Also of interest recently was a flock of 24 juvenile Black-tailed Godwits on the estuary early morning on the 5th; there was a total of 52+ including the adults and a couple more juveniles on Black Hole Marsh. Unfortunately it looks as though nearly all of the flock of juvs left us and continued on.

I also had a snipe fly in on the 4th.

Tonight (6th) I finally found a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. It arrived well after sunset so it's a good job the camera can 'see' better than my eyes can otherwise I wouldn't have been able to ID it. This is my first of the Autumn and also the first I've found here; I'm spending more time on gulls now whereas I used to pretty much ignore them. Quite a lot more learning to do in this area mind you... A 2nd gull flew in which I think may have been another YLG. I've popped a video grab over to our patch gull expert Steve in case he can work out what it is; it was pretty dark at the time so high ISO made for bad video footage!