Sunday, 14 September 2014

W Day

This morning I collected Libby at 8.30 & we went to Bowling Green Marsh for a few hours. It was really busy out on the marsh as the waders flew in on the rising tide. There were some nice birds including about 10 Curlew Sandpipers, Knot, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Avocet & a Med Gull. Surprisingly for a Sunday morning, it wasn't too busy in the hide.

Despite there being no reports of the Wryneck at Dawlish Warren, we decided to go and give it a try. We paid our £3.50 for the car park, giving us 4 hours to walk out to Warren Point,  find the Wryneck & get back. By now a sighting had been posted on Birdguides, so at least we knew it was still about. Out on Warren Point we met a chap who had been walking along the path & flushed the Wryneck, so we walked a loop around the path and set up the scopes on the dunes overlooking the area where the bird had vanished.
Wryneck hunting
We saw plenty of Linnets, Stonechats, Juvenile Starlings, a few Wheatears & a Skylark, and then a rather nice Whinchat, my first of the year. There had been quite a few birders about when we arrived, but they'd gradually wandered off leaving only us and one other chap. We'd set a deadline for leaving, and as it approached we decided to wander back to the path where the Wryneck had been flushed earlier. We hadn't been there long when I heard a whistle & looked up to see the other birder waving at us. We dashed over & he pointed out a Willow tree where the Wryneck had just landed, having been flushed from the path again.
The Wryneck Willow....the right of the 2 trees in the centre of the photo
Luckily it was still there & we managed to watch it for several minutes before it dropped down out of sight. Not the best of views as it was partially obscured by foliage, but good enough to see all of its distinguishing features. It was a Lifer for Libby, and only my second ever, the first having been on the Scillies in 2004. We followed the path back towards the car park, and had a better view of it as it flew up into the Willow again. We were happy bunnies as we hurried back to the car park, having over run our ticket in our excitement.

A thoroughly good day......

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Must try harder.....

I've been a bit lax in the birding department lately.....too many other things going on! I really must try & get out more.

I'm not really Year Listing this year, as evidenced by the fact that I'm on a measly 146. However, Libby is trying for a good list, and is rapidly approaching 200.  It's been fun joining her as she adds a few to her list, including the Caspian Tern, Temminck's Stint & Spotted Crake around the Exe. We've also been over to Black Hole Marsh a couple of times, the latest being on Friday in search of the Little Crake, which unfortunately failed to materialise. However, we went away quite happy with our Little Stint & Curlew Sandpiper. I don't think the chaps from Stoke & Leicester were quite as happy!

The Little Crake hunt at Black Hole Marsh.
I tried out the new hide at Bowling Green Marsh yesterday afternoon & saw my first Osprey of the year. It seems a bit odd to build a nice new hide & then make a large part of it virtually unusable for birders by fitting full height glass which isn't of sufficient quality to use bins or scope through. However, apparently that section may be locked up & used as a classroom anyway....what a waste!