Monday, 22 March 2010

Pants Day... Top Evening!

I'll start off with the birdies....

This morning was VERY not enjoyable! The wind and damp conditions just made me want to return home and drink tea....but I didn't, I kept at it, mostly due to a phone call from Nigel Pinhorn early on saying he'd just had an Alpine Swift over Exminster Marshes....maybe we had one too!?

Well if we did/do, I didn't/haven't seen it!

I grilled the Estuary a good'un this morning, showing the
Barwit and Knot still, with the very lovely looking Blackwit flock...

Can you see the Knot?

If not, you should be able to in this pic...

Sod the Knot though...what a stunning Blackwit!! Yum yum!!!!

But that was it for the morning worthy of mention!

So, after some food and that well deserved cuppa, I was out again early afternoon along the Estuary despite it totally pi**ing down! It immediately started off better though, with the wintering drake
Gadwall on show by the tram sheds...

Great ducks are these!

A short while later from Coronation Corner I scored with my first migrant of the day, a Sandwich Tern. Then after forty minutes of Otter fun (see further down this post...), another hour or so of crap birding, and a trip home, the weather took a turn for the better. I shovelled my dinner down in record time and went out to enjoy the best part of today.

My third look at Seaton Marshes for the day showed my second migrant of the day, my first White Wagtail of the year. If you can see it in this picture I'll be very impressed as it was a long way away.... fact I may offer a prize to the first person who can tell me where it is....??

I spent most of 17:30 - 18:20 watching over the upper river valley, looking from both the farm gate and Stedcombe House drive way. The break in the weather kick started some late overhead movement...

During my watch, at least eight Sand Martins moved up the valley in dribs and drabs, a flock of ten Golden Plovers flew over high NW at 17:40, and best of all, at 18:15, a Spoonbill flew high west over Seaton. Thanks to a phone call from Bun for getting me on this one, I last saw it disappearing over the ridge near Tower Services.

I had the Spoonbill phone call just as I clapped eyes on this amongst the Mute Swans opposite Stedcombe....

Whooper! Nice to see you again....I assume!?!

If it is our wintering bird, then I haven't seen him/her since 16th Feb. And I have been looking at swans since then, including the flock he/she was in today, and have even had a couple of trips up to Kilmington/Whitford.... hmmmmm......

I finished the day in style, watching a Little Owl calling in Musbury at one of their usual!

Something I have been failing to mention in every post during the last week is the mega movement of Redwings at the moment. Every night whenever I'm outside 'seeeeps' are filling the night sky. And whilst on the subject of winter thrushes, I saw a large flock of Fieldfares a couple of days ago near Boshill Cross.

Now to the non-birds of today. Moths won't take long, as in my MV this morning were just two Common Quakers and a Hebrew Character....thrilling!

What will take up more space is the Otter action from today! Mid afternoon one was feeding in the Estuary. It even stayed here long enough for me to go home, collect Mum, and drive her back to the river to see it!

We are sooooo lucky!

It was easy to see where the Otter was at all times even when it was under water, as this was the view above...

The Gulls really didn't like it!

And if it wasn't enough watching this one munching on eels for about forty minutes, later on, two were feeding in the ditch running down to the hide on Seaton Marshes. Excellent stuff!


  1. Ok, the White Wag is on the rusty gatepost at the right hand of the galvanised 5-barred gate in the middle of the pic. Acceptable prizes include bags of chocolate buttons and (at a pinch) doughnuts. ;o)

  2. Very good. I was just kicking myself though as I reckon I could have got away with replacing the words 'White Wagtail' with 'Great Grey Shrike'...don't think you'd be able to tell! Chocolate buttons coming your way...

  3. Just wondering....

    How, just how can you consider a day when you've enjoyed views of not one but THREE otters,(for 40 minutes on one occasion) PANTS!?

    I'd have been overjoyed... There's no pleasing some people!

  4. Hahaha! All the Otter action was after 3pm, I know it's stretching the use of the word 'evening' but the Otters were included in that part of the title! :-) As you say Karen, there is certainly NOTHING pants about Otters, but there was a lot pants about the eight hours before!!!