Saturday, 15 April 2017

Hare, There and Everywhere. But Few Birds...

The weather conditions were absolutely perfect for a spring fall this morning, with a north west wind and really nice thick covering of cloud. There was even a little bit of drizzle not long after dawn!

It started quite well with an early visit to Black Hole Marsh showing that overnight two Reed Warblers had dropped in, with both singing from the strip of reeds up to the Tower Hide. I just love migration, not there one day, singing in full voice the next!  

I then headed up for a good stomp around Axe Cliff, which started off well with a single Tree Pipit over north soon after my arrival. Not a common spring migrant so great to get one on my Patchwork Challenge list so soon.  This was however a false start, with little else passing over and the bushes being incredible quiet migrant-wise.  A singing male Lesser Whitethroat towards the end of my walk did somewhat make up for all the fruitless trudging around mind - another decent year tick. But what really made the walk worthwhile was this wonderful Hare...

I have missed a couple of good birds today. One was a Spoonbill that Phil had briefly drop onto Black Hole Marsh at 1pm, which interestingly looks to be the same Spoonbill that was on Bowling Green Marsh up until 11:30 today.  But more gripping year listing-wise was a Grasshopper Warbler heard reeling for twenty minutes on Colyford Common by a visiting birder mid morning.

I did try tonight for the 'Gropper' in case it started up again at dusk, which they can sometimes do if they haven't moved on, but my plan didn't work out.  It wasn't a wasted trip though as I got to see Goosanders again, with three circling over Black Hole Marsh before dropping onto the Estuary at 20:05...

A drake and two female Goosanders

In my last post I was wrong to presume the lone Cattle Egret that I've been seeing for a couple of days, and the lack of any Cattle Egrets in the Borrow Pit at dawn, meant we were down to just one bird. Twilight Tim has seen seven over the past two days, which actually makes me wonder if the lone bird was bird number seven, which has now joined up with the regular six?

So to summarise today, an okay day but considering the date and the weather it should have been much better. Sometimes I really do wish our patch was somewhere else in the south west, at a real migration hot spot like Lands End, Portland or Charmouth...


  1. Ace hare pics! Our common sands have just arrived in the Dales

    1. Thanks mate! A rare sight around here now, my first patch one for a good couple of years. They are clearly hanging on though.

  2. Charmouth, the new Portland!!

  3. Great shots of that hare, where abouts on the cliffs was this taken?