Thursday, 21 September 2017

Grey Phalarope

1st Winter Grey Phalarope, BHM, 20/09/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
👍 Yeah! Having not seen a Grey Phalarope on BHM due to absenteeism back in 2010, I wasted no time responding to Phil Abbot's find last night, even though I had been off volunteering for the RSPB and was on the bus home, thinking "There's not enough daylight left to go birding". I missed my stop and told the driver to drop me off in Colyford which meant I had to leg it down the cycle path to see one eighth of what I might have seen at Abbotsbury recently. Amazing what patch birders will do for a species they could easily see elsewhere, isn't it?! I got completely soaked (again!) and had to walk home in the dark but it was well worth it. Even though all my photographic attempts were defeated by poor conditions I had to inflict at least one image of the cheeky little chap upon you (male or female? Dunno! ) which, like most of our Grey Phals, was a first-winter bird. OK, now for Red-necked...👴

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Colyford Common Update

Yellow Wagtail, Colyford Common (Copyright T D Wright)
Curlew Sandpiper, BHM, Sept. '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Spotted Redshank, Colyford Common (Copyright T D Wright)
Curlew Sandpiper, Colyford Common, 16/09/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Curlew Sandpiper, BHM, 17/09/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Water Rail & Little Egret, Colyford Common (Copyright T D Wright)
Greenshank, Coly Common (Copyright T D Wright)
I've recently started to see a bit more at Colyford Common LNR which has, for too long, been overshadowed by BHM. On Saturday, it seemed as if nothing new was about as only Ruff and Greenshank plus usual small waders were on BHM. As it was high tide, I thought I'd give Coly Common a go as the recent Least Sandpiper reminded us it can still put BHM in the shade at times. I've also been seeing Yellow Wags and the odd Wheatear up there plus up to 30 Blackwits from the boardwalk. On arrival, I scanned the scrape from the hide and...nothing! However, I noticed a couple of Greenshanks on the close pool plus Water Rails so stayed. I then heard the chewit call of the Spotted Redshank that some people thought had gone and scanned the scrape. There it was, the only wader on the main scrape! After a few minutes, some Curlew and Blackwits flew in. Among them was our lone Barwit, which was another addition to the day's list. Great, I thought; there's a couple of Dunlin as well. Scoping the 2 'Dunlin', I noticed that one was actually a Curlew Sandpiper. Our first of the Autumn! Brilliant. I put the news out and it was duly twitched by several locals. It then flew off to BHM where it still remains today. Unfortunately, Coly Common scrape is not so good as BHM for photography, which is why it gets neglected at times what with the photographers outnumbering the birders round here! (Just a joke, folks!).
Curlew Sand & Dunlin, Colyford Common 16/09/17 (Copyright T D Wright)

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Not Another Least Sandpiper!

As soon as I heard last night that there was a Least Sandpiper at Lodmoor I immediately thought "Oh no! That's the bird we had on Coly scrape the other evening"- especially when I saw the pics! In my defence, the views from Coly hide weren't the best and as far as the 2 photographers present were concerned the bird had dark legs so this scuppered the idea that it was a juvenile Least. We discussed other possibilities as the bird had such a long bill but just didn't have enough at the time to clinch its i.d. . As I cycled home, I wondered if it only appeared to have dark legs and hoped that somebody would get better views the next day. Not to be but I'm fully in agreement with Steve Waite and Phil Abbot, now that he's found a photo that shows us what we couldn't see at the time, that this was our first juvenile Least Sandpiper on the Axe. What we need now is a different species of American wader!

      Anyhow, I've seen a few birds today - Bar-tailed Godwit from Tower and Greenshanks (3), Green Sands (3) & Common Sands (5) on BHM & the estuary. Clive was about and reported the Spotted Redshank from Coly hide so thanks Mr. Williams. Last night a single juv. Sanderling was in front of Tower Hide too. September's been a blast so far! 😋

Monday, 11 September 2017

September So Far

Dunlin, Black Hole Marsh (Copyright T D Wright)
It's been a disappointing Autumn really. August was way below par locally and, although September has shown some improvement, we could do with a mass arrival or rarity to spice things up in Seaton. Bits and pieces have been turning up; at last a Spotted Redshank (well done, Phil ) on Sunday which I caught up with from Tower Hide at 17:45 (ish). My first here since 2014 so very welcome. Last Thursday evening I missed the Osprey but reports of Little Stint flying North from Tower had me divert to Coly Common hide which was worth doing as it was present on the scrape along with several other wader species. On Saturday I tried Tower hide late on as the tide started to move and had a Bar-tailed Godwit fly North with a group of Oystercatcher plus a drake Gadwall on the estuary. Yellow Wags were still around on BHM on Saturday as were a couple each of Greenshank and Green Sandpiper. On Sunday I tried Seaton Marshes hide and several Common Sandpiper showed amongst the Blackwits, Redshanks & Curlews. I think that's about it for now but I'm optimistic that we'll still get a few more migrants and maybe a rarity; especially with all these Hurricanes about...                                                                            
Osprey (Library Picture), Axe Estuary (Copyright T D Wright)
Apparently, we've also had a couple of these fish-grabbers(above). Missed them both!
Spotted Redshank (Library Picture) Copyright T D Wright
Thought you might enjoy these previously unblogged shots of Spotshank as last night's bird was too distant...
Spotted Redshank, Library Picture (Copyright T D Wright)
Spotted Redshank, Library Picture (Copyright T D Wright)
Spotted Redshank, Library Picture (Copyright T D Wright)
Our current one doesn't look like this! Still a cracking bird though...

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Wheatears@Seaton Marshes

Wheatears, SM 30/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Wheatears, SM 30/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Wheatear, SM 30/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Wheatears, SM, 30/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
The track to SM hide was buzzing with at least 7 Wheatears last night. The evening Sun gave me a chance for a few photos...
Wheatear, SM 30/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)

Friday, 25 August 2017

Urban Dipper

Dipper, East Devon, August 2017 (Copyright T D Wright)
Dipper, East Devon, August 2017 (Copyright T D Wright)
I could scarcely believe my eyes recently when I was walking past a stream in a nearby town and something hiding behind a post caught my eye. A Dipper! A first-winter bird I'd say and a welcome bit of wildlife when I least expected it. Fortunately, I had my camera too. Shame about the crisp packet I suppose but it does give the picture an urban feel! Litter-pick, anyone?
Dipper, East Devon, August 2017 (Copyright T D Wright)
Dipper, East  Devon, August 2017 (Copyright T D Wright)
Dipper, East Devon, August 2017 (Copyright T D Wright)

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Ruff at last!

I've just come from a brief visit to BHM where a juvenile Ruff was being watched by a couple of visitors. I phonescoped it and stuck a low-quality image of it on Twitter plus one of an adult Med Gull. The Cattle Egret was showing well as were the Yellow Wagtails. Several Greenshanks and Green Sandpipers about but nothing else notable. OK must dash - - - - Ah, that's better!