Had a look at Ninesprings this morning. Highlights included 3 Mandarins, Stock Dove (my first in south Yeovil), 1+ Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, several Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, 1+ Marsh Tits, Nuthatch and 2+ Treecreepers.
Went down to Great Hill, south of Martinstown, Dorset yesterday evening to look for the woodchat shrike, but drove around unsure of exactly where the bird had been seen. Looked at some OS maps and returned this morning, and managed to get to the right spot by 7:45.
There were plenty of Yellowhammers and Whitethroats about, plus at least 2 each of Corn Bunting, and Red-Legged Partridge, and I flushed a Grey Partridge. Also had some Roe Deer and Hares. After an hour of waiting, the Woodchat Shrike showed and allowed fairly good views.
Had a look at Sutton Bingham this afternoon which produced a female Pochard and male Tufted Duck together. Also of note were singles of Kingfisher and Mistle Thrush and a couple of Common Whitethroats.
Pochard - Sutton Bingham Res
Tufted Duck - Sutton Bingham Res
Also found this distinctive-looking gull from the causeway. It had a caspian-like appearance, being larger than the other gulls with a obvious long bill, long neck, a white head, sloping forehead, a dark eye, a shawl of brown streaks on the nape and back of neck and extensive white tips to the dark tertials. Also it had a high tendancy to point its head and bill downwards.
I'm not sure if the time of year is a bit dodgy for caspian. I'm definatly no expert with immiture larids so I've decided to upload these record shots and get opinions from others whether it's caspian or just herring.. Unfortunetly I didn't get any in-flight or on-deck views of the bird.
Edit: Seems that it is likely to just be a Herring Gull afterall. I need to work some more on my larid ID skills!
A look at the openspace this morning produced 4+ Bullfinches (I suspect there were up to 6), 2 each of Goldcrest, Chiffchaff and Blackcap and singles of Song Thrush, Greenfinch and Sparrowhawk.
Bullfinch - Yeovil Openspace
He's still here!
A look at Ninesprings Lake produced 4 Mandarins, a Kingfisher 2 Treecreepers, a few Jays and Chiffchaffs and singles of Song Thrush, Blackcap and Goldcrest. Also, present on the lake was a Little Grebe chick.
Little Grebe chick - Ninesprings
Mallard with chicks - Ninesprings
A rather bedraggled Mandarin - Ninesprings
Mute Swan - Ninesprings
Also heard a whitethroat in the scrub above the lake but failed to locate it. I've found this species to be almost as hard to find as lesser whitethroat in North Yeovil in recent years, so it would be good if they bred here.