Sunday, 28 October 2018

Red Sky at Night

The evening of the 23rd produced one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen.  To see people of all ages simply standing on the spot looking up was quite surreal, with others rushing to get better views.  It all started when I walked out of Co-op clutching dinner...



I relocated to the seafront where I watched this...



Become this...



Absolutely mind-blowing.  And to top it off, when the sky was lit-up only by this amazing red glow, a group of four Cattle Egrets flew in off the sea and headed north west.  A nice little surprise.

To bring you completely up to date with my local sightings, this morning a female Pintail flew up river with a flock of about 50 Wigeon, two Redwing came flying out of an Axmouth garden, four Dunlin flew up river and I could make out at least two Cattle Egret near Seaton Marshes.


Friday, 19 October 2018

Mostly About Egrets...

I didn't make it out birding at all yesterday which was a massive shame. It was the first still day for a while which saw a significant pulse of bird migration along the south coast of the UK.  I couldn't even cash in on the five Great White Egrets that flew west from Abbotsbury Swannery, and were later seen at Dawlish Warren.  They left Abbotsbury at 09:10, continued west past West Bexington at 09:22, Charmouth at 09:47 and finally Dawlish Warren at 10:30. I reckon they would have gone by here pretty much bang on 10am - right when I was conducting an appraisal at work! 

Oh well, I may have missed five big yellow-billed egrets yesterday, but this evening during a ten minute check of the Estuary, I saw five small yellow-billed egrets!  I don't know how many Cattle Egrets were actually present, as egrets were bombing about all over the place in the half-light, roosting in two different places, but five was my highest definite count.  As I said in a tweet a few weeks ago, to me it now feels like Cattle Egrets are here to stay, unlike their last influx four or more years ago.  Apparently there are up to 95 wintering just in Somerset! 

Here's three of tonight's five (plus)...



It was a pretty decent ten minutes along the Estuary actually, with masses and masses of pre-roosting gulls on show.  I wish I'd had more time to look through them, as a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull stood out in one of the first gatherings I looked at.  Another highlight came in the form of a flock of four Goosanders that flew downriver at 18:10. 

So a rather pleasant end to an all-round pleasant day....


Sunday, 14 October 2018

A Surprise Yellow-browed

Well that was a bit of luck!  

I was walking Harry between my house and his Grandparent's house late morning yesterday when a Yellow-browed Warbler started shouting at me.  Amazingly it was coming from the very same group of trees one inhabited last autumn, and represents my fourth in the street that I live in (Primrose Way) in four years!  I have to say I didn't think I'd get one this year as there have been far fewer in the UK this autumn than the past few years.  

Once I'd dropped the little one off, I returned with my bins and enjoyed some decent views of this little sprite. It was in a mixed flock of tits, which also included a couple of Goldcrests and a Chiffchaff.

I also spent some time yesterday looking through the Estuary gulls, it was a really windy day and early October often proves a great time of year to find scarce gulls.  There were a heck of lot of large gulls about (three large flocks) but despite trying I couldn't find anything of value within them.  It was nice to see five Med Gulls dotted around though, four first-winters and an adult, my highest count since late summer.  Also on the Estuary was this Bar-tailed Godwit...



And to end this rather short and sweet blog post, here's a couple of random photos taken from Seaton Beach during the past few weeks...