Tuesday, 30 August 2016

29th August 2016

Had a look from the hide at Bowling Green Marsh this evening. Highlights included 2 each of Curlew Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank, singles of  Spoonbill, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint and Pintail and several Bar-Tailed Godwits and Whimbrels.

Spoonbill - Bowling Green Marsh

Curlew Sandpiper - Bowling Green Marsh

Wood Sandpiper - Bowling Green Marsh

A family of 4 black swans on the estuary was a surpise as well.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

27th August 2016

Had a brief look at Ham Wall around midday producing 4 Great White Egrets among the other usual species. I was somewhat surprised to find this Little Stint from VP2 alongside a Ruff.

Little Stint - Ham Wall

Also had lots of Iberian Water Frogs in the pools by the visitor centre. Apparently the Marsh Frogs here have recently been re-identified as this species.

Iberian Water Frogs - Ham Wall

Thursday, 25 August 2016

25th August 2016

Had a walk along the coast path from West Bexington this morning. The walk up to the white house produced a few uncommon migrants, but when walking back I located one of the Wrynecks quite distantly on a fence post. It was flushed down into the field and wasn't relocated before I left.

Wryneck - West Bexington

Thankfully, the second Wryneck was showing much better closer to the car park. Counts of commoner migrants came to 3 Tree Pipits, 5 each of Yellow Wagtail and Whinchat, 8 Wheatear, 1 Hobby and a Painted Lady.

Wryneck - West Bexington

Whinchat - West Bexington

Monday, 22 August 2016

22nd August 2016

Headed down to Weymouth again today. A brief look at Lodmoor produced singles of Little Stint, Common Sandpiper, plenty of Med Gulls and this Jersey Tiger.

Common Sandpiper - Lodmoor

Jersey Tiger - Lodmoor

Next stop was Radipole Lake where there were singles of Garganey, Water Rail, Ruff and several Common Sandpipers, Sand Martins and Med Gulls.

Garganey - Radipole Lake

Water Rail - Radipole Lake

Ruff - Radipole Lake

Mediterranean Gull - Radipole Lake

Black-Headed Gulls - Radipole Lake

Sunday, 21 August 2016

20th August 2016 (Cornwall)

The weather for this morning was forecast as stong westerlies, so some Cornish seawatching was in order! The winds had a little northerly until midday when it turned to solid westerly, so first headed to Porthwarra for 7am.


On arrival, I was somewhat dismayed on the lack of shearwaters, so I was quite happy when I got on my first Manx Shearwater of the day (I had surprisingly few manx from PG). Not too long after, I got on my first Cory's Shearwater which was quickly followed by several more; It turned out to be a great day for Cory's and I tallied up a total of 43 by midday. There was a real lack of anything else so was pretty relieved when another birder helped me get onto 2 distant Great Shearwaters together. Also had a breif view of an apparent 3rd Great Shear at great distance, flight action was certainly more energentic than Cory's but that's the only feature I got on it before losing it. Also of note here were 2 Choughs and an Ocean Sunfish.

Cory's Shearwater - Porthgwarra
I gave up trying to photograph anything out to sea after this.

Relocating to Pendeen at midday turned out to be a good decision, as shortly after arrival I got onto some Storm-Petrels followed by smashing views of a Great Shearwater close in. Continued watching here until 17:30 by which time I'd also tallied 1 Cory's Shearwater, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 11 Balearic Shearwaters, 19 Storm-Petrels, 2 Great Skuas, 1 pale-morph Pomarine Skua, and another 2 Choughs.


Chough - Pendeen

Stopped off at Point Quay on the way home to catch up with the DALMATIAN PELICAN. Big enough bird that I managed to pick it out before I even got out of the car.


I'm not convinced this bird stands much chance of being accepted by the commitee after such a long stay, but still a very impressive bird.

Overall a great day considering the wind conditions weren't quite perfect, and allowed me to tick off some overdue seabird species for my list. I look forward to the next storm that blows into Cornwall!

18th August 2016

Got a text from Tim this morning about a garganey at SBR. I haven't seen one yet this year so decided to go and have a quick look for it. I couldn't locate it from the northern or southern end, but other species of note included 3 Common Sandpipers, a Little Grebe and my first Clouded Yellow of the year. Also of note was a Feral Pigeon, technically a tick for me at this site.

16th August 2016

Headed down to Weymouth today and had a look at Ferrybridge which produced 2 Little Terns, 2 Wheatears and 3 Med Gulls amongst the commoner species. Radipole Lake produced lots of Med Gulls but otherwise nothing really noteworthy.

Reed Warbler - Radipole Lake

Willow Warbler - Radipole Lake

Cormorant struggling with an Eel - Radipole Lake

Feral Pigeon - Radipole Lake
Always know it's a slow day when I'm photographing these.

Had a look at Culverwell, Portland this evening for the melodious warbler but it didn't show, the best species managed included a few Ravens and singles of Whitethroat and Sparrowhawk.

Monday, 15 August 2016

15th August 2016

Had a look over the Openspace this morning. The Garden Warbler was still in the vegetation west of the stream along with the 4 Bullfinches (2 Juveniles showed today), 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warblers and 4 Blackcaps. The rest of the openspace was rather quiet.

Garden Warbler - Yeovil Openspace

Bullfinch - Yeovil Openspace

Went to Dawlish Warren this evening so seawatched for an hour or so producing 2 Balearic Shearwaters and an Arctic Skua. Also of note were several Manx Shearwaters and Common Scoters and a Med Gull. A walk along produced 3 Cirl Buntings, a female and 2 juveniles.

Cirl Bunting - Dawlish Warren

Sunday, 14 August 2016

14th August 2016

Headed to the 'migrant hotspot' on the openspace again this morning. Things started rather slowly, with just a Willow Warbler and some Blackcaps and Bullfinches, until at about 8am a Lesser Whitethroat popped out of the bushes. This is my 4th in Yeovil and my 3rd on patch so not a bad start. It showed fairly well up until about 8:45. At about 9am, I picked up a Nightingale in the back of the vegetation, however it was very elusive and only showed breifly a couple times in the sunlight, showing the bright orange tones. This is my second in Yeovil following one in the same spot during spring last year, a great find though better views would have been nice. Shortly after the nightingale, I picked up a Garden Warbler in the bushes as well, my first of the autumn, however it was also very elusive, and being later in the day the vegetation was now full of House Sparrows making it harder to pick out. The total counts of other species today came to 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaffs, 6 Blackcaps, 3 Bullfinches and a Raven.

Lesser Whitethroat - Yeovil Openspace

This afternoon, I decided to walk the path alongside the river between Wyndham Park and Pen Mill, an area of yeovil I've never visited before. It was a pleasent walk and there was lots of promising habitat for migrants. Plenty of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were calling but none were seen, I get the feeling that locating unusual birds here would take more effort than on the Openspace. Sightings included 2 each of Jay and Grey Heron and singles of Kingfisher, Kestrel and Willow Warbler. Also was tantalised by calls from both common whitethroat and common pheasant, neither of which showed and both currently missing from my Yeovil year list.

Suprisingly, common whitethroat is real rarity in north Yeovil since the destruction of breeding habitat, now being less than annual. I suspect there may be some breeding birds in South Yeovil which would be good as I haven't seen any in Yeovil since 2014. Common pheasant is easier to get but is restricted to the outskirts of southern Yeovil, so I don't get them at any of my north Yeovil patches.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

13th August 2016

Had time for a quick look at the Openspace this am, which produced 7 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers and singles of Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Was in Southampton today so decided to head to Titchfield Haven just in case the aquatic warbler appeared again this evening. As it turned out, I only managed to get their just before closing time so didn't bother. I instead decided to scan through some of the terns on the beach for any roseates but all I found before they were flushed was this Common Tern doing it's best impression of one!

Common Tern - Titchfield Haven

It was high tide so most of the terns were now out on the Solent. Scanning through them I located one very pale bird, but it was too distant to get a positive ID.

Friday, 12 August 2016

12th August 2016

A look on the Openspace this morning produced relatively little: 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs and 7 Blackcaps. The Bullfinch pair were again present and this time they had a juvenile with them so they must have bred somewhere nearby, the first time in several years. Also of note was a total of 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Coal Tit.

Was in Glastonbury this evening so had a look at Shapwick Heath, which produced the Osprey on Noah's Lake plus 3 Great White Egrets, 2 Marsh Harriers, 1 Kingfisher and a lifer in the form of a Mink.

Osprey - Shapwick Heath

Great White Egret - Shapwick Heath

Mink - Shapwick Heath

Thursday, 11 August 2016

11th August 2016

A decent morning birding locally today. First had a look at the openspace and decided to start by watching the 'migant hotspot'; the vegetation on the west side of the stream, and come 8:00, in flew a female Pied Flycatcher! It was very flighty however and flew back east after about 30 seconds afterwhich I didn't manage to relocate it. A great local record, only my 2nd in Yeovil following a male in the same bushes back in 2008. Otherwise, it was pretty quiet, with just 2 Bullfinches, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaffs and 7 Blackcaps.

Pied Flycatcher - Yeovil Openspace
The only shot I could manage before it flew.

Also had a quick look in the field west of Brimsmore Garden Centre but saw nothing of note. A couple years ago this area was well vegetated and was the only site in Yeovil I knew about where whitethroats bred, but the vegetation has since been cut back. A real shame as this also happened on the openspace a few years back, especially as common whitethroat is suprisingly difficult to find in Yeovil on passage, or at least not at any of the sites I check.

Got a text from Tim about a couple of Oystercatchers at SBR while I was walking home so decided to give it a go. There was no sign of the birds when I arrived, but I quickly picked up the Shelduck. I also heard a few short bursts of what may have been a grasshopper warbler reeling on west pool but I didn't hear it well enough to be sure. Also of note from the northern causeway were 2 Kingfishers, and singles of Lesser Whitethroat, Great Black-Backed Gull, Little Egret and Common Sandpiper.

Shelduck - Sutton Bingham Res

Great Black-Backed Gull - Sutton Bingham Res

Common Sandpiper - Sutton Bingham Res

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

9th August 2016

A look at Yeovil Openspace this am payed off with a singing Reed Warbler in the vegetation west of the stream, in fact I found it in the exact same bush as the one I found last year. It showed well early on, gradually getting more elusive and mobile before flying at 9:30. This is my third record of reed warbler in Yeovil.

Reed Warbler - Yeovil Openspace

Also present was 6 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 each of Great Spotted Woodpecker and Bullfinch and singles of Raven and Sparrowhawk.