Thursday, 17 November 2011

A Much Needed Patch Update

Well I've got a few days to talk about in this post. And because today has produced the best bird, I'll start here and work backwards....

Thursday 17th

It was a non birding morning for me today, well pretty much a non birding day. But at about 10am I had a phone call from Ian Mc, he had a wader on Colyford Scrape from the hide that was ringing alarm bells. An hour later when I was almost available to twitch it, I found out it had yellow legs - but had flown off.... FLIPPING HECK!

At half 11 I was back on patch, and Gav had seen it and was convinced it was a Temminck's - Devon's first November record I believe. By the time I had got to Colyford hide all the key features had been seen.

Don't get me wrong, it is a cracking bird, with bright yellow legs, and a proper patch rarity - only our second ever. But a yellow legged stint in mid November, after the autumn that the UK has had, just a bit gutting....

Cracking bird like I said though - mustn't be ungrateful!

It's with a Lapwing flock rather oddly, and every time the birds on the scrape were flushed by a Peregrine, it always flew around with them before returning to the scrape.

Wednesday 16th

With a whole load of Desert Wheatears turning up in the UK the previous day (including a corker my mate Dave tripped over on Skomer - lucky bugger!), I just HAD to walk this first thing in the morning...

What wonderful Desert Wheatear habbo!

I walked the whole of the beach! At the very start of the walk I saw these two crackers...

Just a pity the sun didn't come out for me!

And by the end of the slog - that was still all I had seen! Oh well, it had to be done.

I then had a quick look up the estuary, and was excited when my eyes could see about seven brown blobs on Bridge Marsh...

Ooohhhh - grey geese!

Bugger it - they were Greylags! There were still 12 Brent Geese on Colyford Marsh, and about a billion Canade Geese.....well about 70!

Tuesday 15th

Today was the day I did the dirty on the patch (see my previous post!), but not until I had given the Beer Cemetery Fields a good look...

There was very little grounded, it was in the air where of the action was happening. With the south easterly wind, all vis mig was heading that way - including loads of Wood Pigeons! In just over an hour I counted 17,600...

It was quite a spectacle!

Also overhead my first Brambling of the autumn, 20 Redwing, two Fieldfare and a Mistle Thrush.

Monday 14th

I put lots of leg work in with very little to show for it, despite a couple of flocks of Redwings flying low over the house soon after dawn. My first stop was Lower Bruckland Ponds, where the previous day James Mc had seen a very grey Chiffchaff.

I had seen bugger all, and was just heading back to the car, when I could hear a tristis-type Chiff calling. It was very elusive, and I didn't get enough on it to 'tick off' all the important plumage features, but it was very grey indeed with not a hint of yellow or green. Although you wouldn't know that from the only photo I took of it...

You can barely see it I know!

As I said though, it sounded spot on - nothing like the other calling greenish Chiff that was present.

The best the river offered was a Knot with the Blackwits off Coronation Corner...

Yes another awful photo!

When I pulled up to check the Swan flock near Boshill Cross, they all took off. That was because of this...

After some dinner!

The weekend as usual was a birding free zone for me, although on the way to Kilmington on Saturday afternoon I saw a nice flock of 60+ Fieldfare near Whitford bridge.

And that's that. Hopefully I will keep on top of blogging for the remainder of the autumn. Yes - I still think there is more this autumn has to offer...

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