Thursday, 4 October 2018

2 weeks of snapping

Date: 23/09/2018- 04/10/2018
Cheddar, Slimbridge,Westhay,Weymouth, Portland, Chew Valley Lake.
Species Highlights: 
Grey Phalarope, Little Gull, Black Tern, Bearded Reedling, Great White Egret, Hoopoe, Lesser Yellowlegs,Osprey.
It been another 2 weeks since last blog and we've been out and about with plenty to see. On the 23rd September Sunday Lauren needed to improve her Grey Phalarope Pictures and the longish staying bird was still at Cheddar along with a Little Gull and a Black Tern.

I think we can say shes improved from the previous week!

Such a obliging bird and over 100 in the country!

We then walked around the Reservoir looking for the Little Gull and looked what landed shore side!

Not too be out done the Black Tern also perched up.

Little Gull in flight.

Little gull and Black Tern, busy at it!

After a successful day on way home popped into Chew and the Great Whites were on top form, such great birds to watch fishing, although this a failed attempt.

But eventually they get the fish.

Black Headed gulls not being out done with some circus tricks!

Monday is Laurens day off so a lovely sunny day and we went to Slimbridge, but with very little on show apart from another Black Headed Gull looking fantastic in the perfect light.

We did have Chiffchaff, Spotted Redshanks, Cranes but all a bit distant so i got in a bit of practice for our Canada trip with a Ringed Neck Duck, I think it may be a tad more frozen in Canada in January!

We left while it was still sunny and dropped into Chew, Villace hide where another distant Spotted Redshank was found, a few photo opportunities.

Water Rail popped out briefly.

I recently bought a 100mm 2.8 Macro lens and getting in some practice, amazing when you looked close at tiny things!

On the 26th Wednesday I decided to try again at Westhay for those Bearded Reedlings they didn't disappoint.

Only saw 5 birds but such little stars!

Sorry a bit more macro, Nursery web Spider.

Female Common Darter.

Male Common Darter.

Again passing Chew on way home lovely and Common Sandpiper.

Lauren called me when home saying, "get your lens there's a cool fly!" 
So I managed a couple of shots before it disappeared it's called a....Looped Flutterfly of the Trembling Wing family, great name eh. its only 5mm.

A weekend of work and dodgy knees, we had planned a trip to Dorset a first off Lodmoor to see the Lesser Yellowlegs to help with our #200 birds of 2018, it was a now show, typical! we walked around scanning and chatting with no one seeing it, more Phalarope, Egrets and Godwits.

Great little reserve with some great photo opportunities.

Lauren being the Social media queen spotted Portland Bill had a Hoopoe so we raced over to Easton and success. 
It was species number 189 for me and 172 for Lauren, it didn't stay long and disappeared into a garden out of view.

Carried on down to the Bill and plenty of Kestrels, Lauren  Shots.

Saw at least 6 different birds hunting and sitting in spots.

While she was birding i spotted a Clouded Yellow and she even managed to improve her Clouded Yellow shot not difficult, if you remember her shot of one from Fairford!

We headed back to Lodmoor for another look for the LY and success! I spotted it on the west path from the bandstand a far distance away.

Not a lifer as we had the Cheddar bird in 2016 but still it was year tick & 190/173.

A Hobby was catching a few Dragonflies that were buzzing over the reserve.

Came across this Gull? 3rd year Yellow legged?
Would appreciate any suggestions (email) Please

The Godwits looked great on the well lit West path.

Almost up to date, 2nd October and Chew Valley lake again. the Great Whites featuring hard for them not to!

Had a bit more company for this lovely Greenshank.

Also Little Egrets.

Great Whites shouting at the Grey Heron who hates them fishing on hids lake!

Found this little chap a Noon Fly, on fench in between hides.

The following day 3rd i went to Westhay mainly for the Bearded again but a no show while i waited so hobbled around to London Drove to see if i could see the juv Osprey that had been fishing in the lake there.
Unfortunately as i arrived it was being chased away by jawdaws and this was the only shot i got, i waited 3 hours but it didn't return, it did return around 4pm!

So no Bearded and not really the Osprey shots I wanted I headed home but not before dropping into..... you guessed it Chew, was glad I did as a Greater Scaup female was on show...191/200.

Not much else from Villace hide although the Great White Egret AAF, It was ringed at Ham Wall on 27.6.16.

Today was patch walk day and fairly quiet around Newton St Loe, for a complete list check our spreadsheet but the highlights were Top fields 15+ Meadow Pipits, 1 Sparrowhawk, into Village and it looks like all the Martins and Barn swallow have gone south.

Above village a pair of Raven honking.

At least 4 Jay seen around patch

1 Chiffchaff with this group of 15 Long Tailed tits also about, but not with the group, 1 Green woodpecker, 3 Greater Spotted 5 Mistle Thrush.

On Lake it seems 2 Mute Swan have disappeared maybe flown off with some pressure from dad who is quite aggressive?
But some good news Robert Hargreaves saw 4 Teal, top Lake and today 4 more have joined them, Mallard number have also risen to almost 40 we just need the Goosander and the water level to rise a bit, with all the work on lake finished its just rain needed.

Almost in focus!

Ended walk on 39 species, Butterflies 2 Small white, 3 speckled wood and 1 Peacock, a few Dragons around 10+ Migrant Hawker and Common Darters.
 So that's it all up to date. till the next time :)

Thanks For Looking! 
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