Sunday, 6 November 2011

A Frustrating Weekend!

Have had almost zero time for birding this weekend, I'm a fool for agreeing to work 13 days straight!!

Yesterday I have nothing worth writing about - so I won't, but then there's today...

I was at work from 7am, and it was soon obvious even from my sporadic forays into the back yard that Wood Pigeons were streaming over! I probably only saw a couple of thousand, but as I was inside for 90% of the morning I can only offer a rough estimate of the total for Seaton today, about two billion.... it's been a long day!

Now there has been a bit of talk recently (well a couple of weeks ago) on the Devon blog about what you put flyover Redpolls down as. Well personally I've always been quite confident calling them Lesser Redpolls, although when I put my records in they do go down as Redpoll sp., I'm not that confident!

Anyway, I've brought this up because this morning I really did have a Redpoll sp.! It was uttering the usual standard Redpoll flight call, except that it was deeper, and just sounded 'different'. This is the first one I've heard like this down here in Devon, and I have seen/heard a heck of a lot of fly over (Lesser) Redpolls (sp.)! Obviously there's nothing at all I can do with it, I just found it very interesting - I'm sure noone else has!

So all day I was desperate to get out - I felt the patch had so much to offer! Clocking off time came, and I went to Seaton Marshes for the last half hour of the day...now I kinda wish I didn't! (unless there's a patch first for us to all see in the morning!). Whilst walking around the Borrow Pit, at 16:55 I see a fairly high flying large raptor cruising north east. It was already past me and always heading away. This is how my brain went..

"oh look there's a pale Buzzard...
there's some dark marking on the belly though...
I should keep watching this...
oh its really distant now I will just have to forget about it...
oh I might see its uppertail when it comes down in front of that distant hill...
OH SH*T!!!!
oh bugger it's dropped out of sight, run Steve run, see if you can still see it from another vantage point...
drat I've lost it, best send some texts out..."

And why did my brain do that and make me run - because its uppertail was gleaming white!!

When I saw its uppertail it was a long long way away, and I only had my bins, plus it was almost dusk - but the white still shone out like a beacon! And there was lots of it too, more than half the tail.

Well will just have to wait and see. As I said it was nearly dark, so whatever it was I'm sure it hasn't gone far - but I didn't get anything structural on it, so it could well just be a weirdo Buzzard. Hopefully we will see tomorrow....

As this is my first post for a while, I should also sum up my birding. Since Nov 1st I've made two trips to the Beer Cemetery Fields. Both times I've seen five species of thrushes, the first visit on the 1st day of the month showed 5 Mistle, 3 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing and good numbers of Blackbirds and Song Thrush, and a visit there on Friday just gone showed 10 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Mistle and even better numbers Song Thrushes and Blackbirds.

Also on Friday, a Spotted Redshank was on the river north of Corination Corner - let's hope this bird is going to over winter with us! Also an adult Med Gull, my first since the start of the week.

In a last ditch attempt to save this from being a photo-less post, a few hours of ringing during last week in the garden didn't catch me much, but I did catch one of these...

A flock of a few thousand is an amazing spectacle, but they are so much fun to handle too!

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