Saturday, 8 January 2011

2011 Birding

Here it is, my first post about 2011 birding, bet you are excited.....!?

00:00:01 on Jan 1st my year list was precisely zero... and at 10am it was STILL zero as I was still in bed asleep!! I did soon get up after this time though and ventured out on patch....

Five Velvet Scoters had been seen off the sea front earlier in the day, so I headed here first. I was pleasantly surprised to see there were now eight Velvet Scoters loosely associating with the flock of 42 Common Scoter - all female-types (the Velvets not the Commons!). Two Brent Geese flew in from the east and landed with the Scoters, a Jan 1st bonus! I also logged three Red-throated Divers and several Razorbills.

The Greylag Goose was still opposite Stedcombe Vale (and still is today), and a scope of the viewable Swans in fields between Musbury and Colyford revealed the continued presence of our adult Bewick's Swan. Lower Bruckland Pond revealed an incredible array of diving ducks (for us anyway!). Three days later 14 Tufted Duck and two Pochard were still there...

Nine Tufties on top, two Pochard and two more Tufties below

A big BIG bummer on the 1st though was missing the patch's first Waxwings, with nine briefly on the edge of Seaton before flying towards Colyford. A nice Ruff opposite Axmouth FC the following day made things a little better.....oh who am I trying to kid!? Did it heck!!! Bloody Waxwings!!!

I've also managed to miss a patch Bittern already this year, but whilst looking out for it yesterday evening from the farm gate a total of five adult Med Gulls flew down river to roost. A red head Goosander headed the same way, but much slower - swimming all the way! The eight Velvet Scoters were still present on Thursday and to complete my patch sightings for the year so far, two male Pochard were on the Estuary today.

Back to Waxwings, and I have wasted so many hours cruising around our local housing estates with my windows down and my eyes looking everywhere else but at the road! I have totally failed, and am really getting frustrated by it now! So frustrated in fact that when I had to pop to Exeter to complete a bird survey a few days ago, I went to get my 'Waxwing-fix' at Marsh Barton. This is exactly what I have wanted to see during my efforts on patch...

Even from two miles away, it is just so obvious as to what these are - there is just 'something' about the way Waxwings sit up like this

Anyway, I very much enjoyed watching these 29 stunners, despite the fact the weather was totally shite...

They spent 99% of the time I was there sat up in the tall bare tree, and only 1% of the time on the berries!

And that's how my birding year looks so far! Now time for bed....

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