Tuesday, 14 November 2017
I got up early morning and managed to break my phone scoping adapter, good start. Arrived on site at around 8:30am. A short look from the same spot from yesterday produced only a few sparrows. A number of birders had walked further up the road where the bird had also been reported. As they hadn't come back yet, I decided to head up. Quite a few people were at the top end. A large number of sparrows could be heard across the gardens, but very few were visible. After most of the birders had moved off, the call went up. After a bit of searching through the scope, I was watching the potential ITALIAN SPARROW! I waited until 12:30, in which time the bird only showed a couple more times before the feeders ran dry. It was surprisingly distinctive with it's gleaming white cheeks, brown crown, small bib and white in-front and behind of the eye. Needless to say, I failed to get a record shot by free-hand through the scope.
The classification of these birds seems somewhat confused, I'll be sure to do some more complete research into this if/when I get time. None-the-less, I'm very glad I went and saw this - birding isn't just about ticks!
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
Monday, 30 October 2017
Headed down to Ninesprings Lake yesterday morning for the first time since January (I really need to spend more time on patch next year!). The highlight were high numbers of Water Rails. There is one regular bird every winter, but today I saw 2 on the Lake plus a 3rd which was heard only, and a probable 4th heard calling from the river. Oddly, no mandarins were present on the lake, though 2 Little Grebes, 1 fly-through Kingfisher and a Grey Heron were on offer, and the intermittent blue-winged goose was again present. There was little of note away from the lake with nothing better than 2 Nuthatches and a few Raven overhead. On the drive back to the house I had a female Kestrel in the fields between Brimsmore and Longcroft.
Walking into work this morning proved to be a good decision as I had a flyover Lesser Redpoll, my first in Yeovil this year.
Thursday, 26 October 2017
Thankfully, the LESSER SCAUP was showing well on arrival on the North Lake, allowing me to get some decent shots through the scope. It was associating with tufted ducks, so it was nice to get some comparison shots as well.
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
I arrived on site, and a birder informed me that the bird was still showing. I walked/ran the mile to St Aldhelm's Quarry where a crowd of 30 or so birders were spaced along the road. As soon as I arrived, another birder was watching the bird, however it was moving quickly. After a couple fleeting view of what was apparently the bird, I locked eyes on something with a supercillium and wing bars. A few seconds later and the TWO-BARRED WARBLER popped up again, this time working its way along the the top of the vegetation. A very striking bird with whiter underparts, brighter upperparts and an even more obvious supercilium than last months greenish.
The weather was getting pretty bad at this point, and with such a tight crowd it would be impossible to set up my scope to get some shots. Having had pretty good views already, I decided to head home. At least one Firecrest was all else of note. Very glad I made the effort to get this, as it's my first mega old-world warbler. When the bird was showing, probably only a third of us managed to get onto the bird, as there is little space to view the quarry, so it could be a bit tricky for the larger crowds in the coming days.
Eventually the light started to improve, and I managed some passable record shots of the Phalarope. Also of note were 3 Bearded Reedlings, a Water Rail and an overdue year tick in the form of a Curlew Sandpiper.
My first visit here, but I was impressed with the number of species on offer in such a small area, a very nice little reserve.