Friday 6 January 2023

I've never been so pleased to see a wagtail!

I admit to being moderately frustrated on Christmas Day; an apparent Eastern Yellow Wagtail had been found by John Gale on Colyford Common, about an hour after me leaving that same site. I'd been hoping ever since that I'd get a chance to see it, and a chance I got! With afternoon seeming the best bet from the few reports, I scheduled the day (Thurs 5th) around me spending some time at Coly Common. It was my daughter's 2nd birthday, and I had quite a bit of 'my own' work to do, so I told 'my other' work that I wasn't going to be in. Good move!

At 14:40 ish I heard, distantly, a Yellow Wagtail ish call. I've not got any first hand experience of EY Wagtail calls, but anything sounding vaguely like Yellow Wagtail at this time of year is interesting, and this had to be the bird. It flew over Coly Common from the west, and continued east beyond the tramline and towards the river. At this point I was concerned that that was going to be it. I did manage a couple of VERY ropey pics of it as it flew over, but fortunately it did the right thing and flew to the wires at Coly Common a couple of minutes later. It was distant at first, near the reedbed loop (I was on the main boardwalk), but even so this was very clearly the apparent Eastern Yellow Wagtail that had been seen on 3 previous occasions. 

A few more people arrived and then, much to our gratitude, the bird flew over and dropped down relatively close, maybe 40-50ft from where I was standing. It was pretty obscured by grass, but I didn't care, it was a relief to see it well. An 'I can't believe it' moment came when it found the Issy Wheatear, and they were in the same frame through the camera... At least at that point the Issy wasn't being totally ignored anymore! Is that two 2nds for Devon, on the same patch of grass, at the same time? Incredible.

Monday 2 January 2023

Isabelline Wheatear reappears!

Well hello again. This was a pleasant surprise, after its apparent absence since Boxing Day! Susie spotted the Isabelline Wheatear back on Coly Common this morning, much to the delight of quite a few birders, especially those listing. Just a brief visit from me as it was a Daddy daughter day whilst the misses got triple pay for Bank Holiday. Missing the presumed Eastern Yellow Wagtail later in the afternoon hurt though, and my Dad missed it by minutes. It's here somewhere, but none of us have had any luck finding it's 'usual spot' yet...

And a headshot from Boxing Day:

Sunday 1 January 2023

January 1st Patch Birding

1st of January, a day that wherever possible goes in the diary as a patch birding day!

Steve Waite had a Great White Egret land on BHM early morning, which fortunately was still about later & I managed to catch up with in the afternoon. It was perched, rather unusually, on a house... I'm not sure if this is the bird I had on December 26th or not, as someone else said they'd seen it on a rooftop late December. I haven't seen any pics good enough to be able to compare; mine from today were absolutely terrible as I was at Seaton Marshes, and the bird was on a house west of Black Hole Marsh! Similar distance to the Marsh Harrier which was a nice surprise today.

I'd been hoping to get the Dartford Warbler which has been about, but elusive, for a few weeks now; a bird I've not managed to see on patch yet, and it'll stay that way for the time being.

So, how bad a standard of pics do we want to see on this blog? A photo-less post just looks a bit lame in my opinion, but the photos from today are lame too. I'd say my priority balance has swung to more like 95% birder 5% photographer these days. I like photos for records, I like photos to help with ID, and occasionally I like to try and get nice photos of a nice bird.

So, lame photos are a go-go. To make this extra lame, the pics probably aren't worth getting off the camera, so I'll post a BOC (back of camera) pic taken on my phone instead...