Saturday, 24 September 2016
Friday, 16 September 2016
15-16 Sept - A stop at Farmoor on 15th was rather quiet in hot and humid weather on 15th, with 2 Ringed Plovers (confiding as usual) and a Wheatear. Much cooler and fresher on 16th for another wader morning. The juv Pectoral Sandpiper was still present at Goldcliff, although rather distant. Also here the usual impressive array of species - 3 smart Spotted Redshanks with 11 Greenshank, a nice comparison in the Common Redshank flock. 2 juv Little Stints on the mud also 3 Ruff. A stop at Pilning by the Severn bridge gave distant views of Wood and Curlew Sandpiper for a 15-wader morning - and a Greenshank still on pit 132 in CWP. A relief to have cooler and fresher conditions at last, much more seasonal.
Monday, 12 September 2016
10/12 Sept - Some smart juvenile waders passing through at the moment, including a confiding Little Stint on the causeway at Farmoor, and the juv Baird's Sandpiper at Upton, with its distinctive long primary projection, crouching short-legged gait, smart clean breast band and medium slightly decurved bill, all very aesthetically pleasing.
Saturday, 10 September 2016
8-10 Sept - No September is complete without a foray to Gibraltar and Tarifa to pay homage to the autumn raptor passage, one of nature's most spectacular European events. This year was no exception - a 48 hour visit produced hundreds of migrating raptors, with flocks of Honey Buzzards 30-40 strong spiralling on the thermals, and a supporting cast of White and Black Storks, Booted and Short-toed Eagles, a few Harriers, and several rarities - Ruppell's Vulture, Long-legged Buzzard and Black-shouldered Kite. Not forgetting the parties of Bee-eaters, and steady stream of hirundines including Red-rumped Swallows, along with Alpine, Pallid and Common Swifts and a single White-rumped. There was also a good selection of passage waders on the coast, principally at Barbate (here amongst the startingly pink Greater Flamingoes) including Greenshanks and Spotted Redshanks, Grey and Golden Plover, Whimbrel, and Bar-tailed Godwit, together with a single Little Stint amongst the Sanderlings, Dunlin and clockwork-toy like Kentish Plovers. The strait itself wasn't to be outdone - a good passage of close Cory's Shearwaters and a few Balearics, and plenty of Audouin's Gulls. La Janda flooded ricefields held huge numbers of White Storks with several hundred Glossy Ibis, also 25 Spoonbills, Black-winged Stilts, Wood Sandpiper and Ruff, also Tawny Pipit and Iberian Wagtails and 5 increasingly rare Turtle Doves on passage. Hunting Montagu's and Marsh Harriers are always a treat here and are to be expected. Altogether a busy but rewarding area, very hot though this year, but well worth it.
Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Friday, 2 September 2016
2 Sept - This drained pit is proving something of a magnet to waders, and this evening 9 Ringed and 2 Little Ringed Plovers present, also Dunlin, Green and Common Sandpipers, and a flyover Greenshank (the same bird as last w/e?). A Peregrine was sat out on the gravel banks, and caused a mass disturbance amongst the geese. This pit will be worth watching over the next few weeks.