Friday, 8 January 2010

Booming Marvellous!

The freezing dawn saw four Backwater birders on the edge of Blackhole Marsh, hoping for a glimpse of a patch mega! We did better than that.... We enjoyed two really good flight views of yesterday's Bittern as it tried to find ice-free water.

The last view we had of it was when it landed somewhere along this ditch...


...we waited and waited and waited, and looked and looked and looked, but it had vanished! For now anyway.....

Whilst here, Lapwings were piling south with at least 12 Golden Plovers. A Jack Snipe was a nice surprise as it rose from a wet ditch and flew west, and the cold is now taking its toll on Woodcock with at least four seen, including one which landed briefly on the track behind us. A species which I'm sure is struggling more than others at the moment is Cetti's Warbler, so it was nice to see one here briefly. The five Brent Geese remain in the fields north of Seaton Marshes.

I've had a couple of checks of the sea today. This has shown one Red-throated Diver, 13 Great Crested Grebes, the Eider, the Velvet Scoter, nine Common Scoters, six Teal, 20 Wigeon and weirdly two Coot!

I spent quite a lot of time along the river/farm gate early to mid afternoon today. At the farm gate just before 13:30 I was suddenly aware of the Bittern flying about over Colyford Marsh with two Crows in hot pursuit. The trio gained height, but shortly after the Bittern dropped down into an area of reeds just NW of the gate. Another excellent flight view, fantastic stuff! I hope it stays.

Now to ducks, and a nice gathering from the farm gate included three Pochard (two drakes) and a/the lady Tufted Duck. Three Gadwall flew up river and near the tramsheds this fella was much more obliging than he was yesterday...

What a looker!

Also the Estuary Coot flock has increased...

Now six! There are still several at Lower Bruckland Ponds plus the two on the sea

The four Ruff flew south past me at the farm gate, one of them looking noticable smaller than the others....which is weird because yesterday I could have sworn they were all males!

Still lots of thrushes about, in fact there seems to be even more
Redwings! They are starting to look like they are really struggling, any ice/snow free patches of grass I've come across today has been covered in them! The bank opposite the back entrance to Co-op was littered with them this afternoon, along with a female Black Redstart - a belated work tick - belated cuz I wasn't at work!!!

They're getting worryingly tame too...

Back to work tomorrow after a nice couple of days off, but I have a week off soon so I don't mind :-)


  1. Hi Steve,
    I have been following your blog for some time now - Good stuff, keep up the good work. Say hi to your Dad from me - I had the pleasure of enjoying a RT Pipit with him on Handa in 2008.
    PS - Please send the bittern our way!

  2. Hello :-)
    Dad says hi, he's coming over tomorrow to look for the Jacko.
    Keep munching them cakes, I just enjoyed a slice of Lyon's Golden Syrup cake, heated up with custard....yummy!
    All the best