Monday, 21 August 2017

Odds and Ends

21 Aug - A few weekend odds and ends - a superb brief, but close, view of a Hobby as it flew over the garden Saturday morning - 3 late Swifts over Ciren Sat eve - a flock of 7 Buzzards over Winstone - and a Redstart at Blakehill that was out in the open for once. An autumnal feel with some rain and cool temperatures.

Friday, 18 August 2017


18 Aug - A morning visit to pit 132 in the eastern CWP - a flighty Greenshank still around, also a couple of Common Sandpipers. flyover Hobby was a bonus.

Saturday, 12 August 2017


11 Aug - I decided to go on the Isles of Scilly pelagic boat trip that I'd pencilled in, as it's been a very good seabird season in the SW especially with all the unsettled weather. So a drive and a crossing on the Scillonian set me up for an evening trip out with Joe Pender and a return home the next day (after b and b for 1 night). The weather was cloudy with a SW breeze, good conditions, and the crossing from Penzance was eventful with very large numbers of Manx Shearwaters - also 5 Cory's and a Sooty Shearwater, with a few Storm Petrels also seen. The trip on the Sapphire was very bouncy on a sea with a considerable swell, but almost immediately we came upon a mixed flock of Shearwaters including both Great and Cory's - unfortunately photography was a challenge with the poor light, a bit of drizzle, and the swell affecting balance on the boat - but good views were had especially of the majestic Cory's gliding around, and of the slightly more delicate Greats "shearing" in the wind. We also put out some fish oil to attract Storm Petrels, and as well as the fluttering Stormies we saw 2 Wilson's Petrels - distinctive with their larger and squarer size, stronger secondary bars and projecting feet. The trip is also excellent for views of Gannets and Fulmars, and these accompanied us back to harbour as the evening closed in. Terrible traffic on the Saturday trying to get back from Cornwall - 6 hours! but worth it.........

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Wood Sandpipers

10 Aug - 3 juveniles of this very elegant species have been at Slimbridge WWT for the last few days, probably stalled on their southbound migration by the wet weather. They've been feeding with Green and Common Sandpipers for a fieldguide-type comparison - compared with these two species the Woods are very slim and elegant, longer-legged, and are always sought after as a regular but fairly scarce passage migrant. The Wood Sands were fairly cooperative for the camera from the Robbie Garnett hide, and as usual South Lake was giving good views of Black-tailed Godwits (and also Ruff) though the bright light can be a problem here for photography.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

South of the county

6 Aug - A stop en route home, and as well as a couple of family groups of Whinchats I was scanning around when a raptor flying low in the valley caught my attention - a male Montagu's Harrier! It flew through and continued south, a real bonus. I even managed a record shot.......

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

WWT again

29 July - Another look at WWT to try to photograph the Greenshank - alas it remained fairly distant but I obtained a few record shots - one of my favourite waders. Also further good views of Black-tailed Godwits on Rushy Pen. The Swifts were screaming around the village noisily this evening in the rain - they will be leaving us soon for their incedible flight to Africa where they stay airborne for months on end.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Pectoral Sandpiper at WWT.......

27 July - A Pec Sand at Slimbridge found last night by @Robertabirder. and still present today - good but distant views from Zeiss hide. Also Greenshank, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, a colourful summer-plumaged Black-tailed Godwit flock, Little Stint and Dunlin, with Green Sandpipers from Robbie Garnett hide and on the Rushy. Wader numbers should increase as the autumn passage gets under way and the juvenile birds start to move. Few passerines seen in very windy conditions.