Monday 19 August 2019

Osprey, Kite & Harriers

A good day for raptors on patch! We still have 2 Marsh Harriers here and I finally saw them flying together. One perched in front of the hide at Colyford Common with an item of prey but I was watching from the other side of the river and without camera (how most of my birding has been done lately). Not sure if anybody was in the hide but the views would have been pretty impressive from there. A later look at Colyford Common yielded nothing different with 10 Ringed Plovers and 3 Green Sands being the best of it.

On my way home I noticed a raptor drifting north-west over Colyton. I initially thought it had the jizz/giss of a Red Kite and fortunately it was moving slowly enough for me to park up and get bins on it. Not a bird that's particularly 'on my radar' this time of year. It continued to drift north-west at fairly low altitude. The few gulls that went up soon settled, only for them to make a bigger commotion a little later. I figured it'd be the Kite coming back but it wasn't. It took a great deal of scanning to find the culprit - an Osprey! It was to the east of Chantry Bridge and drifting south; I'm surprised I managed to pick it out at all to be honest, it was still an unidentifiable speck through binoculars (8x). Good to know that my eyes are still okay even though a lot of the rest of me is broken... It was also another one of those occasions where the camera was essential as the bins simply didn't cut it, so it was a good job I brought the camera out this time. Not that the pic is up to much...

To give you an idea how far off it was, this was taken at the equivalent of 1260mm and cropped! Although I've seen lots of them over the Axe estuary, I think this is only my 2nd Osprey over Colyton so it was certainly good to see. It has been a good year for me with raptors over Colyton. A few Red Kites, a few Hobbies, this Osprey and of course a Hen Harrier (also very distant, see here). 

Old news now but on the 10th I had the following from Tower Hide:
2 Turnstone (one or more has been seen almost every day since)
2 Greenshank
44 Dunlin
5 Ringed Plover
1 Wigeon

On the 11th many of the waders were favouring the scrapes at Colyford Common for feeding, the most interesting of which being:
1 Turnstone
11 Ringed Plover (inc. 3 juvs)
1 Whimbrel
6 Green Sandpiper
1+ Wood Sandpiper (most likely 2 based on calls)

Pretty similar on 12th but with better combined wader totals from BHM & Colyford Common:
1 Turnstone
2 Greenshank
12 Ringed Plover
58 Dunlin
2 Marsh Harriers (the lingering birds, seen by visitors rather than me on this day)

Aside from visits around the Axe, a couple of quiet trips up at Beer Head were concluded with pizza...

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