Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Anyone Seen A Wryneck?

First of all, a short message to any locals who read this blog. If you have one of these in your garden...

..then please let me know! My email address is stevewaite85'at' Thanks :-)

Beer Head this morning was epic. It's felt pretty samey up here over the past week, but this morning there was passage and new grounded migrants. I could have spent the whole day up here to be honest - it felt like there was a rarity around every corner. Sadly I never found it, but I still had a very enjoyable three hours birding.

For the first time this autumn Meadow Pipits were fairly abundant, c100 is the total in my notebook, but there was so much movement this could be a gross underestimate. Chiffchaffs out numbered Willow Warblers 28:1, another sign that we've moved into the next 'phase' of autumn migration. 

So although I didn't find the rarity I was hoping for, I did come across a patch scarcity with a cracking Pied Fly.  Pleasingly the Pied Fly was in an area I (and I think most the other local birders) don't usually go, I've only included it on my route around Beer Head in the hope of turning up a Wryneck! It stayed pretty loyal to a row of trees so I ended up taking quite a few pics...

Only my second of the year following a cracking spring male by Seaton Marshes

I think that's enough of the Pied Fly! These are my full totals from this morning:

c350 House Martin
c300 Swallow
c100 Meadow Pipit
c75 Yellow Wagtail (most grounded but others straight over west)
5 White Wagtail (my first of the autumn)
2 Grey Wagtail (over west)
26 Wheatear
1 Whinchat
4 Spotted Fly
1 Pied Fly
11 Blackcap
3 Whitethroat
28 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Warbler

And a few more pics...

Two of the Spotted Flies
The closest approaching Wheatear
Three of the White Wagtails
A pretty standard-looking autumn Yellow Wagtail
With all these passerine about - no surprise this fella was lurking around...

Down in the valley, it seems as though our Black Hole Marsh bubble has burst.  Every September something happens which suddenly makes this wonderful place much less wonderful. In 2011 it was 25th September, and this year it was last Sunday.  For some reason the small waders leave the marsh and start feeding on the Estuary at low tide - only using Black Hole over high tide. Then they begin avoiding it altogether and start roosting on Seaton Beach, and that is where we are at the moment.

Low tide yesterday...

This is quite nice to see again to be honest though

High tide yesterday...

First person to spot the Curlew Sand gets first prize...

I may be wrong, and once the water levels drop, Black Hole Marsh may become THE place again. But personally I think that's it. Saying that though, it doesn't mean the rarity potential on Black Hole Marsh is any less.

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