Saturday, 30 April 2016

30th April 2016

An evening trip to the Openspace payed off with a Spotted Flycatcher in the east end of the wooded area. This is my second Yeovil tick in this area this year. Also present were 6 each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff and 3 each of Goldcrest and Greenfinch.

Spotted Flycatcher - Yeovil Openspace

Also, was looking through some of my old pictures of geese at Cley last December and found this black brant in the background of one shot! I didn't think that I'd managed any pictures of it.

 Black Brant - Cley, 2015

Monday, 25 April 2016

25th April 2016

Was walking home through Thatcham Close today when I heard a familiar song. Looking up, I saw the singing Lesser Whitethroat; my third Yeovil record and my first here for 5 years (I think). Returned 30 mins later with my camara but there was no sign. However, I did have my first Swift of the year overhead.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

24th April 2016 (Gwent)

After hearing that the broad-billed sandpiper roosted at Newport Wetlands again last night, I planned to head up there this morning. Arrived at about 7:00am. Looking out from the hide, the Dunlin flock was still on the Island, but most of the birds were asleep and mostly hidden in long grass; seemed it was just a case of waiting for them to be encouraged to move by the incoming tide. In the meantime, there was a good selection of other species including a pair of Little Ringed Plovers and a male Yellow Wagtail.

Yellow Wagtail - Newport Wetlands

Little Ringed Plovers - Newport Wetlands

Before 9:00, the whole Dunlin flock flew up and out onto the mud, scanned through them, no broad-billed sandpiper... Had a walk round the rest of Goldcliffe Pools but still no sign. All I had was my first Reed Warbler of the year, and I heard both common and lesser whitethroat, but failed to locate either.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

21st April 2016

Had a singing male Wood Warbler in the wooded area at the Northeast end of Yeovil Openspace late morning today. Showed well at first but then moved onto the west side of the children's play area and was generally more elusive. For me, this was a much anticipated tick for Yeovil Openspace so great to finally see here!

Wood Warbler - Yeovil Openspace

Also of note today was a probable lesser whitethroat that was at the southern end of the scrub, but then flew over to the vegetation on the west of the stream after which I didn't see it again (this would only have been my 3rd in Yeovil). Otherwise numbers still pretty good, had 2 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaffs, 7 Blackcaps, 2 Bullfinch, 4 House Martin, 5 Swallow, a flyover Raven and singles of Goldcrest and Greenfinch still.

Blackcap - Yeovil Openspace

Goldfinches - Yeovil Openspace

Sunday, 17 April 2016

17th April 2016

Went down to Portland Bill this evening. Went up to the bushes in the top field first but couldn't locate the bluethroat just had singles of Peregrine, Raven and Sparrowhawk.

Walked down to where the subalp had been seen. Wandered around in circles flushing Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers, until after 20 mintutes, a warbler with White outer tail feathers flew up. Got onto the bird when it perched and sure enough it was the WESTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER. It showed breifly a couple more times before disappearing into the scrub. 

Had another look at the bushes in the top field, where I had a couple of breif views of a chat that may have been the bluethroat, but it was getting dark and I was unable to make out any details on it. 

When driving back up from the bill towards Southwell, I had a Short-Eared Owl hunting near the roadside from the car window.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

13th April 2016

Went down to Portland this afternoon to look for the western subalpine warbler that was released in the Obs Quarry around midday. Upon arrival, I was told that it hadn't been seen since, which didn't come as a great surprise. At the bill had several Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, a Raven and a Fulmar flying over the land which looked a bit out of place. In the fields north of the Obs I picked out a female Common Redstart.

Common Redstart - Portland Bill

I headed over to The Hump to have a look for the hoopoe. I had a walk around which produced very little. As I was heading back, another birder called me over to say he had found the Hoopoe in one of the first fields. It allowed us to get up close and get some good shots of it.

Hoopoe - Portland

Returned to Portland Bill in the evening, but there was still no sign of the subalpine warbler in the quarry, just 2 Blackcaps and the resident Little Owl. Also had one of the Short-Eared Owls fly over while I was waiting.

 Short-Eared Owl - Portland Bill

 Little Owl - Portland Bill

All-in-all, quite a lot of compensation to ease the pain of dipping!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

10th April 2016

The Openspace was a bit of a disappointment this morning; Grey Wagtail was the best species managed. Also had 7 Chiffchaff, 4+ Blackcap, 5+ Goldcrest, 2 Swallows and 2 Greenfinch still.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

9th April 2016

Had a quick walk around Portland Bill Top fields this evening which produced a flyby Peregrine but no short-eared owls. Also had the resident Little Owl in the obs quarry.

Friday, 8 April 2016

8th April 2016

Went to Ninesprings again this evening to listen out for tawny owls but didn't get any. Best managed was singles of Kestrel, Willow Warbler, Grey Heron. Treecreeper, Blackcap and Raven and at least 10 Chiffchaff.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

6th April 2016

Went up to Tealham Moor this evening and had decent views of the White Stork. Also had a Marsh Harrier and some Swallows.

White Stork - Tealham Moor

5th April 2016 (Cornwall)

Couldn't resist trying for the snowy owl in Cornwall this morning. Got to St Just by 7:15 but there had been no sign. Only consolation were singles of Iceland Gull and Chough.

Iceland Gull - St Just

We headed over to Marazion to look for the pacific diver, again with no luck. Just had lots of Great Northern Divers and a few Black-Throated Divers and Common Terns and a female Common Scoter.

Had a look at Windmill Farm on the Lizard peninsula after the woodchat shrike was reported again. I must say that at this site, there is not only a distinct lack of paths (all the ground was water logged and many routes of passage were either overgrown or completely flooded), but there was also no clear indication of how to get to any of the locations marked on the map. We eventually found the right place but we dipped out again.

A look at the Lizard Point produced some swallows, fulmars and a couple of grey seals, but nothing really noteworthy. Next stop was Perranuthnoe to try our luck for the pacific diver again. While we were here, others birders picked up a Whimbrel, which eventually showed itself to be the HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL. Had much better views than I had here last time and of the Pagham Harbour bird last year. Also present was a Eurasian Whimbrel for comparison. Seawatching produced only a single Great Northern Diver.

Note the stronger head pattern and longer bill.

Also, a few more shots to show the brown rump and densely barred underwing:

Another look off Marazion and Penzance but still didn't locate the pacific diver. Best I managed were singles of Red-Throated Diver and a drake Eider.

Eider - Marazion

Had another look at Windmill Farm this evening but still no sign of the woodchat shrike, however a female Marsh Harrier was somewhat surprising. Last stop was the Hayle Estuary where I located the juvenile Spoonbill.

Spoonbill - Hayle

Monday, 4 April 2016

4th April 2016

Spring is well and truly here! Had a look at the Openspace this morning and it was alive with warblers; the final count came to 3 Willow Warblers, 7+ Chiffchaffs and 5 Blackcaps. Also had my first House Martin of the year overhead, plus a Linnet which was quite an unusual spring record for here. Otherwise, just had 2 each of Great Spotted Woodpecker and Greenfinch and a single Goldcrest.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

3rd April 2016

Had the Ring Ouzel on Larkspur Crescent breifly again this evening for the first time in a few weeks. Surprised that it's still here with migration now underway.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

2nd April 2016

Had a look at Chew Valley Lake this morning. First stop was Herriots Bridge where I had singles of Goldeneye, Barnacle Goose and Willow Warbler.

 Lesser Black-Backed Gull - Chew Valley Lake

Barnacle Goose - Chew Valley Lake

I was able to scope the 4 drake Scaups from Herriots but had much better views from the Stratford Hide. Walked out towards Moreton; didn't locate any water pipits but had a couple more singing Willow Warblers.

Scaup - Chew Valley Lake

Friday, 1 April 2016

1st April 2016

Had a look at Lodmoor this evening. Had my first Sand Martins of the year, as well as some Swallows and singles of Marsh Harrier and Snipe and some other bits and pieces. A look at Radipole Lake this evening produced little more than another Marsh Harrier.

Teal - Radipole Lake

Feral Pigeon - Radipole Lake
Yep, I actually resorted to photographing these!