Monday, 22 February 2016

A Local Catchup

Well it's about time I blogged about what this blog is about - Axe Birding! There's been a few pics sitting on my memory card for a week or so, and today I had an enjoyable couple of hours out and about on patch.

Clearly the star bird locally is (sorry Mr Ibis) the stunning drake Green-winged Teal that's often on Black Hole Marsh. I say often because some days it just isn't there, like yesterday sadly. He was showing exceptionally well this afternoon though in the far north west corner of the marsh, best viewed from the screen at the start of the walk way to the Island Hide.  Obviously my old Lumix can't compare with the big lenses, but still...



Easily the best views I've ever had of this species. Not only does it show well and close, but it's doing a lot of displaying at the moment - what a show off!  Those horizontal white stripes aren't simply white, they're like flipping glow sticks!  A flock of Green-winged Teal in the dark could look surprisingly similar to a rave crowd I reckon.

I best mention the Glossy Ibis now, which is spending pretty much all it's time at Seaton Marshes at the moment.  In any other winter this would easily take the title of 'star bird', but it's picked a winter with stiff competition.

The Water Pipits are still wintering with us too.  It usually takes time to see them, but given patience you should be in luck (really helps if you know the call).  Today I saw seven in the same area as usual, I even managed to get one in the view finder...

Looking typically pale


Another bird that was wintering with us this year was a lone Dark-bellied Brent Goose. I say 'was' because I haven't seen him for a week or so...



And now to gulls. Yes lovely gulls.  Well sadly they haven't delivered for me despite there being a good turn over, we are clearly in the middle of some pretty heavy passage.  There were at least 200 Common Gulls on the Estuary today, along with six Lesser Black-backs, but nothing rare.  Best (or worst?) lately was this ugly hybrid from last week...

Third from left, it was smaller than Herring with yellow-pink legs and a Yellow-legged Gull mantle shade, so I guess a HerringxLBBG?


We've also had small numbers of Med Gulls which is to be expected, although I'm surprised I've not seen more with no more than three on any given day...

Adult Med Gull coming in to land


But quite possibly the best birding news I have to give flew over my house at 8am today, a Meadow Pipit. I know it is just a Meadow Pipit, but this is the first Meadow Pipit over my house since the last bird last autumn - Nov 2015. This means passage, SPRING passage. Wheatears and Sand Martins next... 

I've got a bit of time off work this week which is nice, and the weather is looking pretty decent too.  It's a win win!


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