Wednesday, 24 August 2016

WRYNECK at West Bexington

Took a brief visit earlier today down to West Bexington after receiving news of a reported Wryneck sighting along the coast path. Once I arrived (11.00am) I noticed a large amount of Wheatears present along the coastal footpath and car parking area. It was obvious from the number of birds present that Wheatears were moving through in the last few hours. Further along the coastal path, walking east past the Chalets, Wheatear numbers became evident numbering almost 100+ along the beach, coast path, fence lines, nearby fields and gardens. Big numbers of Yellow Wagtails also present numbering approx 60+ birds in the fields 300metres east of car park, Many more birds flying overhead. Approx 300+metres down the path I noticed a "larger" bird fly up about 20ft from the footpath in front of me and land on a nearby post......WRYNECK!!! A stunning juvenile bird perched out in the open right before my eyes. a magical experience and I got cracking views. After obtaining a few images the Wryneck flew east along the fenceline and was joined by a 2nd WRYNECK further down the path!!! Both birds perched side by side giving incredible views. A quick phonecall to Tim White about my find and to report the sighting. Both birds were present up until 12.30pm when I left West Bex though  were moving eastwards with Wheatears and other migrants. Whinchats were abundant too with 15+ dotted across the area. Also of note include several White wagtail, Willow Warblers, Reed Warblers, 1 Cetti's Warbler in the scrub. Decent Swallow passage overhead and good numbers of Yellow Wagtails in flocks passing overhead high.
A truly magical 1.30mins at West Bex. Best Autumn Migration movement I've seen in a long time!! With weather conditions very poor this evening I wonder if these birds were all moving ahead of the weather and now grounded on site until tommorow once weather clears. Heavy rain forecasted overnight hopefully land more birds in at West Bex. A few images below of the migrants seen.




Wheatear and Yellow wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Willow Warbler

WRYNECK'S at West Bexington

Found 2 WRYNECK at West Bexington this afternoon giving great views. Big fall of migrants present, 100+ Wheatear, 60 Yellow Wagtail, 25 Whinchat present. More pics to follow later on.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

LIttle Stint shows well

A visit down to Black Hole Marsh this evening turned up this stunning juvenile LITTLE STINT giving extremely good views from the viewing screens by the Island Hide. Good numbers of waders present including 3 Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpiper, 1 Curlew Sandpiper with 5 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 20+ Black-tailed Godwit and 28 Redshank out on the marsh. A lovely evening out on the marsh finished the day off nicely after having very brief views of the WRYNECK near Dawlish with Tim White this afternoon. 

Monday, 22 August 2016

Weymouth Birding

Visit to Weymouth/Portland area today started off nicely with excellent views of a juvenile GARGANEY at Radipole RSPB reserve right by the visitor centre. Other sightings of note from Radipole include Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Med Gull and a Great Black backed Gull in the car park. No sign of any Yellow-legged Gulls at car park roost this evening.

Onto Portland later in the day showed no sign of the Greenish Warbler but did hear an unusual "pied wagtail" like call mid-afternoon from the Obs gardens but no sight/sound since. Only sightings of note from the Obs include 3 Willow Warbler and singles of Chiffchaff, Robin, Blackcap, Wren, Blackbird and Sparrowhawk. An hours Seawatch off the Bill produced 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Gannet, 1 Fulmer and 1 Kittiwake.

Juv Garganey-Radipole

Juv Garganey-stretched wing

Juv Garganey in flight


Portland Bill and the Obs
Great Black-backed Gull

Saturday, 20 August 2016

CORY'S off Charmouth

Seawatch off Charmouth Seafront by beach huts this evening 19.00-20.10pm produced excellent views of 4 CORY'S SHEARWATER passing roughly half-way out looking towards big yellow bouy!! Also 6 BALEARIC SHEARWATER, 87 Manx, 8 Gannet, 2 Fulmer, few gulls all of note. Not bad considering Cory's are very rare off the South Coast. Over 500+ Balearic's off Portland Bill today!! Hopefully see some more in few day's time!!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Gull ID at Seaton Marshes

Picked up this interesting looking Juv Gull at Seaton Marshes this evening at 8pm. Intial thoughts rang bells on juv YLG but looked different from some other YLGulls I've seen in the past. Long thin black bill, dark black well defined tail band, bright white rump with little streaking, pale white  face with dark eye mask, black upper edge to secondaries, slightly larger size than Herring Gull nearby (see images) and head shape looked elongated giving slender head shape like Caspian Gull. Plumage on wings quite grey. Thoughts and comments welcome please. Pics also posted on Twitter.

Seaton Seawatch

Down to Seaton seafront this evening for a seawatch turned up 2 very unexpected Shearwaters during a 50min watch 5.45-6.35pm from the beach huts!!
Setted up scope out of the wind at the beach huts and began scanning, a few passing Gannets, 2 Fulmer and 60+ Manx in first 15mins. A couple of Gulls, Cormorants and more Manx through. Sortly afterwards I picked up two "large shearwaters" passing close in soaring high over the winds with little wing beats. Dark brown mantle and wings, pure white underside, black trailing edge to wing and large yellowish bill and I knew CORY SHEARWATER'S!!! Two stonking birds giving amazing views flew west towards Beer Head for disappearing from view in the sea swell and spray. A fantastic few minutes watching them. Seawatch finished off with more Manx passing 100+, few more Gannets and Great Black-backed Gull. My first Cory's Shearwaters for Devon List and only 2nd British Record!!

No sign of the BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS that was seen off Prawle Point, Devon earlier today. Had high expectations but Cory's was very unexpected. With several reported along the south coast, several Long-tailed Skua's and Balearic Shearwater picking up in numbers. This weekend could well be good for a epic seawatch sighting this space.........................

After seawatch, called into Seaton Marshes where we had great views of 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 1 Little Stint, 1 Green Sandpiper and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover. Good  numbers of the usual waders and gulls present.