Another visit to Coate this afternoon. As I got out of the car I was greeted by a few low flying Swallows still feeding themselves up for the long journey south. As on previous visits there were a lot of Pied Wagtails around the horses along with a single Yellow. Also here and not a common bird at Coate were a couple of Wheatear. On the floodwater were a few Mallard, Gadwall and Teal, half-a-dozen Black-headed Gulls and ten Lapwing. A Greater Spotted Woodpecker was in it’s usual tree and more Swallows were overhead. A flock of twenty-three Lapwing came over, circled a couple of times and then drifted off to the west. Later on I decided on a walk at Liddington Hill thinking that as there were Wheatear at Coate there may be more migrants around. I was again greeted by Swallows as I got out of the car along with a few House Martins. There were plenty of Goldfinch feeding on the thistledown but very little else. A couple of Buzzards were heard and then seen as were two Kestrels. Heading back towards the track I heard a Redstart calling from some Hawthorn scrub. A few minutes of waiting and stalking was rewarded with views of first a female and then a male. Another good bird to finish off the walk.
I am hoping to get out for a days birding on Sunday. Probably at Keyhaven / Pennington on the South Coast. I will have space for a couple of people if anyone fancies joining me. Early thoughts are to leave home between half six and seven and it will be a full day firstname.lastname@example.org or 07739 986602 if you are interested.
Just some local birding after work today with two visits to Coate Water. The first on my way home from work was to the flood water where there were 10 Lapwing, Common and Green Sandpiper and a few Teal and Gadwall. Later on a walk around the lake it was pretty quiet with just the regular stuff around. Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker were heard as was Chiffchaff. Best bird seen was also the last, a Kingfisher down by the second hide.
It was an after work drive to London or me today with a stop at Farmoor on the way. Just before four another heavy rainstorm arrived over Swindon and heading east. Leaving work the rain had stopped and as I headed towards Oxford the sun appeared creating a fabulous double rainbow. I followed the tail end of the rain all the way but when I arrived at Farmoor the sun was out. Just in case I kitted myself up in full waterproofs and headed off towards the causeway. I met up with a local birder (whose name I didn’t get) and we headed off across the reservoir. There were masses of Hirundines feeding low over the water with all four of the common species seen. As always there were plenty of Pied Wagtails and also a couple of White. First wader seen was a confiding juvenile Ringed Plover follwed by a Common Sandpiper. Further on was a single Dunlin and then a group of four more, along with the Little Stint that has been around for a few days. This was a year tick for me. An Eygptian Goose was found amongst the flock of Canada’s. Finally a chance to try out the new scope with which I successfully found the juvenile Little Gull that we had been told was there. Also seen were the local Insomniac and Paranoid birders and best of the day, a visiting birder who turned out to be visiting from Barbados! So a very successful visit which was all the better for managing to dodge the rain. Then it was off to London and then back home, arriving just before ten.
A pleasant walk to the top of a windy Liddington Hill after work. Not many birds around with Skylark and Goldfinch the only small ones seen along with Buzzard, Kestrel and two Sparrowhawks.
I had considered getting up early to look for the reported Wryneck at Blakehill. I did wake at six but decided that staying in bed was the best option. Fortunately for me it wasn’t seen today. Dragging my mum along with me I then headed for Salisbury to look at a telescope that a fellow WOS member was selling. After buying the scope we headed to the National Trust house and gardens at Mottisfant. A lovely property and a very enjoyable visit. We saw a couple of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Robin and Wren along with several Trout in the River Test which flows through the grounds. The intended stop on Salisbury Plain on the return journey didn’t happen as it starting raining just before we reached Tidworth. So it ended up as a nice day but with no birding.
Went out early for a bit of local birding starting at Coate Water. On the flood water were a Green Sandpiper, nine Lapwing and a few Teal and Mallard. The horse field had dozens of Pied and a single Yellow Wagtail. Overhead were Several Swallow, five or six Swifts and a single House Martin. Moving on to Southleaze with a quick look at the new canal at the new Wichelstowe development. A single Little Grebe and a couple of Mallard on the canal and at Southleaze a dozen more Mallard, two Teal, three Little Grebe and a Sparrowhawk. Final stop was Barbury Castle with Buzzard and Kestrel seen. The family headed to the Four Pillars at the Water Park for a very nice Sunday dinner. After a quick look in at Twitchers and Waterhay was worthwhile with thirty-seven Cormorants perched on the rafts. Three Hobbyand singles of Sparrowhawk, Green Sandpiper and Bullfinch were also seen.
Went to Bath for the day with the family. Two Mute Swans with four Cygnets were feeding near to Pultenay bridge along with a few Black-headed and Lesser-black Backed Gulls. A Cormorant was happily fishing here as well. I had intended stopping in at Box on the way home to look for Dipper but heavy rain along with thunder and lightning put paid to that plan so we headed straight home instead.
Had a bit of a surprise when I left for work this morning with a Robin in full song in the neighbour’s garden and another trying to compete just along the road. After work it was a circuit of Coate Water with the dog. Three Common Tern including one juvenile were a good sighting and as the rain started the dozen or so Swallows that were over the lake were joined by a couple of hundred more along with a handful of Sand Martins and a single House Martin. It is a shame that they will not be around for much longer. As usual I wonder where the months have gone.
My planned walk at Stanton Park was postponed as I needed to work late, so instead I stopped in at Coate Water for a quick look at the floodwater. A reasonable tally with nine Lapwing, four Teal, 2 Common and 1 Green Sandpiper plus several Mallard and around thirty Canada Geese. Also several Pied Wagtails. In the trees were Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Chiffchaff and Long-tailed Tits. In and over the horse fields were several more Pied Wagtails, four Yellow Wagtails and a few Swallows, Starling and House Sparrows. Later on a walk with the dog was almost devoid of birds with only a handful each of LBB Gulls, Wood Pigeons and Corvids seen.