Friday, 12 April 2013

Watching Migration

The over night rain has certainly done the trick. As is often the case though in wet conditions, Beer Head watchers came back with little, whereas the marshes and river valley have been jumping!

The best passerine migrant I've seen this morning was a male Redstart on Seaton Marshes, which was fascinating to watch.  I first picked it up distantly on fence posts along the ditch that divides the two fields south of Seaton Marshes, but realised each time it flew it was moving a little further north. It continued making short flights until it came to the ditch that borders the southern edge of Seaton Marshes. It then started moving west along this ditch, doing exactly the same making short flights from post to post. When it came to the last bushes before the cycle track it spent about five minutes here, often feeding on the ground...

Beaut! Wish it was a tad closer though.

Then all of sudden it flew on to the cycle track, perched up in a sycamore, and just after I took the following snap it melted away through the trees towards the church yard...

Fly little bird, continue on your journey. And good luck!

The most numerous migrant in the valley was Willow Warbler, and today's the first day they've out numbered Chiffchaffs (only saw 8+ of these). There were at least 70 spread around various sites, with several small flocks and many singing...

Welcome home!

There's plenty of hirundines around too, not loads, but certainly more than there has been. All three species were hawking over Colyford Common.

Rarest bird of the morning though was a stunning breeding plumaged Spoonbill on Colyford Marshes. I don't think I've ever seen a smarter example of one, really vivid yellow on the neck - what a stunner!!

Bit of an odd thing this morning was making friends with a Pheasant!  I think it was probably being over territorial as it followed me from Stafford Marsh across half of Colyford Common... 

I even ended up opening gates for it!

All I had time for yesterday was a quick walk around Seaton Marshes. Most notable sighting was a vocal Grey Plover over west, which was presumably the departure of the long staying bird on the Estuary.

It was very nice to see a decent spring fall today, but things are still running very late. Most years the first decent Willow Warbler arrival is within the first week of April - I wonder if things will catch up or whether the entire spring will be a week or two behind previous years?

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