Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Autumn Returns

You may have picked up on some frustration in my recent blog posts that despite daily visits, Black Hole Marsh has remained very samey - except for the lovely juv Sanderling on Friday 9th that is.  

Thankfully though, yesterdays frequent thunder storms and heavy rain showers seem to have got things moving again.  A flying visit mid afternoon yesterday showed a nice due of Curlew Sandpiper and Ruff new in... 

Juv-1w Curlew Sandpiper

I was back down there for dawn today, and saw;

1 Avocet
6 Ringed Plover
22+ Dunlin
1 Curlew Sandpiper
1 Knot (juv)
14 Black-tailed Godwit
6 Bar-tailed Godwit
2 Ruff
3 Common Sandpiper
1 Green Sandpiper
2 Snipe

Out of that list the Avocet is the stand out bird.  Although they are annual on the Axe, this is the first that I've ever seen on Black Hole Marsh. I'm also pretty sure this is our first of 2016 following a blank spring.  I didn't have time to walk to the Tower Hide so you will have to make do with an ultra distant record shot...

Good job Avocets aren't little brown things!

The second Ruff and the Knot were also new arrivals, as was a second Knot on the Estuary about half an hour later.  

It's not just been a wader day, seems to have been a good one for passerines too.  Colyford Common mid morning showed six Wheatear and two Whinchat...

Love autumn Whinchats!

Whinchat on the baordwalk

A Wheatear and Ruby Red Cattle

A late morning visit to Axe Cliff was also fairly rewarding, despite the heat and the time of day. 

What a view!

10:45-12:10 here produced;

1 Golden Plover
12 Wheatear
7 Whinchat
50+ Meadow Pipit
1 Tree Pipit
1 Sedge Warbler
3 Whitethroat
1 Willow Warbler
3 Chiffchaff
90 Linnet

The Golden Plover was my first of the autumn, and flew over west. Thankfully I picked it up on call so didn't need to worry about the Lesser varieties. The Whinchat count was decent (a five and a two) and the Tree Pipit I flushed out of long grass.

I'm not sure if it is good to see so many Meadow Pipits. When they replace Yellow Wagtail as the most frequent fly over migrant you know you've moved into the next phase of autumn migration. I've been hearing them going over fairly often now for the past three of four days, and have only had one Yellow Wag. Autumn rolls on...

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