Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Ruff at Black Hole Marsh

A look at Black hole Marsh produced fantastic views of three juvenile Ruff from the Island hide, showing well down to 10feet!! Incredible close up views of these very smart birds. Also 2 |Little Stint, 1 Knot, 30 Dunlin, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 18 Ringed Plover, 20 Redshnak, 1 Snipe, 1 Knot,15 Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and juvenile Peregrine all of note on a brief visit.


Ruff chasing off another Ruff with aggressive wing-flapping




Little Stint

Ringed Plover

Monday, 29 August 2016

Yellow Wagtail Influx

Over the past week and a bit Yellow Wagtails have influxed to the south Dorset and Devon coastline recently with several reports with significantly high numbers of birds present at roost sites and feeding areas around West Bexington, Cogden Beach, Charmouth, Seaton and Abbotsbury. Over 320+ at West Bexington counted, 368 at Cogden Beach mid-week, 800+ counted going into roost at Abbotsbury also mid week and over 200+ birds mobile between Seaton and Charmouth area.
A visit after a ringing session this morning at West Bexington turned up very large numbers of Yellow Wagtails east of the Chalets mid-afternoon. Counted approx 130+ birds including flocks of flyovers and many birds in fields along the coastline. Few images below from Seaton Marshes recently. Hopefully get better pics with so many birds around in the next week or so.

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.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Seaton Marshes

Visit to Seaton Marshes this evening. Once on arrival the large gull flock took off front the nearby Axe river. A quick look around to find the cause and a juvenile Osprey flew into view, flying low south right over the marshes and hides giving a great but brief view until lost from view as it disappeared from view behind some trees. Great views of this Common Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Little Stint, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 1 Knot and 1 Greenshank were most noteworthy waders present. Great to see a nice collection of typical autumn passage waders all together this afternoon. Now that I'm living more local now with a new job, It will be exciting to see what else will turn up here at Seaton.

A view images of juvenile Little Stint taken from Island Hide. At least two birds present showing well but slightly distant for good pics. Great watch and see them close up.

There was good numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover present throughout the afternoon and I picked put this dark-mantled adult Ringed Plover from the flock. Large white forehead patch, broad black breast band, dark mask and dark brown mantle and wings suggest Tundra/Greenland race. Not 100% sure but bird was considerably darker and smaller in size than other Ringo's present.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Wood Sandpipers

A selection of images of the juvenile Wood Sandpiper taken at Seaton Marshes, Devon this weekend. A super bird and one species I've not seen much of in the past, let alone excellent close up views of this bird that showed well down to about 10metres from the Island Hide. A smashing bird.

A few images of other wading birds present on the marshes including a stunning juvenile Black-tailed Godwit, several Redshank and Ringed Plover.