Saturday, 20 October 2018

Autumnal Blakehill

20 Oct - A misty autumnal Blakehill morning, and my first Fieldfares of the season flew west calling, 11 birds in total. Also a fem Stonechat, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, a pair of Reed Buntings and a sizeable flock of Linnets.

Friday, 19 October 2018

A few waders.........

19 Oct - A look at the Dorset coast en route to a meeting. Avocets winter here in good numbers now, and a couple of fairly large flocks seen. A single immature Spoonbill also feeding distantly, 60-70 of these birds now winter in nearby Poole Harbour. 2 elegant Greenshanks also present, but I couldn't find any Spotted Redshanks. Black-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Curlew and Redshank also on view, and Grey Plover and Water Rail calling, along with a large female Peregrine perched up and eyeing its next meal. Beautiful autumn colours on the trees, and the sun surprisingly warm on this Indian Summer day.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Autumn!

17 Oct - One of the highlights of autumn this morning - the first 2 Redwings of the season flew over calling at first light as I headed off to work. Always exciting when the winter thrushes start to arrive. This year, I was also privileged to hear the fluty song of the Redwing during the breeding season in Scandinavia, back in May in Sweden, where they are common but secretive forest breeders.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Blakehill evening

14 Oct - A late afternoon leg stretch at Blakehill after a wet weekend, and as expected a Barn Owl was taking advantage of the drier conditions by emerging to hunt in good light before sunset. A real bonus was a male Merlin that was perched on a post on the plateau, then seen in rapid hunting flight, an elegant streamlined small falcon that is always very distinctive. 3 Stonechats were feeding along the fenceline in typical fashion.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

The CWP Cattle Egret

13 Oct - The recent Clattinger bird has been relocated, and seen distantly this afternoon from the road near Waterhay. Currently 5 Heron species on the Water Park ............

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Slimbridge Jack-pot

11 Oct - An early morning visit to Slimbridge and amazing reflections, especially from Robbie Garnett hide, with excellent light on the Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwings. A Peregrine sat on a post on the Dumbles, where a flock of Dunlin and Golden Plover shimmered in the light, against an approaching shower further down the estuary. Good but fairly distant views of the wader flocks from the Zeiss hide, including Ruff and a Snipe and a flock of Curlews over the estuary. The real highlight however was seen on calling in to Martin Smith hide before leaving - a Jack Snipe was feeding out on the mown area in front of the hide. Fantastic views of this normally very elusive bird over the next hour or so, its smaller size , distinctive stripes and shorter bill obvious. The bird bobbed continually, even doing this slightly when sleeping, and it was amazing to watch this bird's behaviour at close quarters, being one of the most elusive birds in the UK.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Shorncote

10 Oct - Another day of perfect weather, and a late morning visit to Shorncote was surprisingly productive. 2 Great White Egrets were flighty around the area, but gave good views ( with 2 Littles for comparison). At least 5 Cetti's Warblers calling, a singing Chiffchaff, and good views of a Green Woodpecker feeding on the ground. No less than 8 Stonechatd, a Grey Wagtail, and Goldfinches on thistles. An "Indian summer" day.