Monday, 12 April 2010

A Red Reward On Day One

I have negotiated a new shift pattern at work... I will still work all day Sunday, but during the week instead of working four days 1pm-10pm, I will now be working five days 5pm-10pm. Today is the first day of this new work pattern, and the change has already proved worthwhile!

This morning we were ringing on the Borrow Pit at Seaton Marshes, from 07:00 - 13:30. I spent nearly the entire time looking skywards, several Buzzards, three Sparrowhawks, one Peregine and a few Swallows and House Martins were all I noted....no Red Kites.

I spent AGES trying to get a shot of one of the two House Martins which spent an hour or so flying about over our heads. I took loads of pics, a House Martin was only in about five of these, in four of them it was out of focus, which leaves this feeble attempt...
I reckon I could have got away with naming this as a Storm Petrel!! Yes, Storm Petrel over Seaton Marshes - bit of a surprise!!! ;-)

I'll put a couple of in hand bird photos at the end of this post, but to sum the session up we caught 19 birds, with a Blackcap and two Chiffchaffs being the only migrants.

After a bite to eat at home, I headed for Blackhole Marsh. As soon as I arrived, a
Little Ringed Plover could be seen on one of the islands...

I presume one of yesterday's three?

I hunkered myself down besides the hedge half way along the west edge of the marsh to get out of the cool north wind to start a bit of a sky watch. It was fairly quiet until about 13:45, when it went a bit mad!


All the Gulls took to the air from beyond Seaton Marshes and the lower part of the Estuary, which got me scanning frantically with the bins... but whilst looking at the skies a long way south of me, the calls of Whimbrel started ringing out from much nearer...

A flock of six were flying around over Blackhole Marsh - my first of 2010

And it was very kind of them to do this..

Land!

Can you see the seventh wader in this picture?

One a little closer

With the Gulls still up and making a bit of a fuss, I turned my attention back to the skies. I clocked up a few Buzzards, but then, high to the south west picked up a Red Kite heading north.... superb!

I watched it for about five minutes as it slowly drifted north, although it was some way to the west of me and always high in the sky. That is why this 'record shot' of it is so rubbish...

....very very very rubbish!!! But still, a Red Kite :-)

So there you have it, starting at 5pm is certainly a good thing!

I had the trap out in the garden last night, but it was a lot cooler and as a result only caught four moths. They were singles of: Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, Early Grey and Red Chestnut.

I shall finish this post, as promised, with a couple of photos from this morning's ringing...

A fine male Greenfinch

Song Thrush and Blackbird (both first-year birds)

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