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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Tawny Owl heard from Petrol station

On Thursday 29th September, whilst filling up the car with petrol, I heard a Tawny Owl hooting just south of the station at 8.45pm this evening. Looking forward to a better October, this September has been the my worst ever for birds (Osprey excepted). Didn't even see Redstart or Pied Fly this month or this year for that matter! Best seabird I saw all month was Guillemot and Gannet. I have been out and about but just not seeing anything! Friday 30th September after work, a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the bare trees just before the sewage works seen briefly before it flew off. Despite Rat hotel being bulldozed over there were still around 8, 2 with really big individuals with bodies around a foot long. The rats were more spread out that earlier with several on bushes, I wonder if the holiday park residents next door there know they are living next door to such a large rat colony?

Monday, 26 September 2016

Chiff- Chaff & Crickets in the garden

With so little on patch this autumn, it was really nice on Sunday 25th September, to watch a Chiff- Chaff hanging around in the garden for several hours and coming down to the fish pond for both a drink and a bathe. In the evening 7 House Martins flew around and circled overhead plus 15 Linnets flew west. On Monday September 26th evening up to what I think are 3 Roesel's Bush Crickets heard, including one seen, too.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

2 Darters

In the garden today Saturday 24th September 2 Common Darters both male, one on the washing line and very wary one on the lawn at the back quickly flew when I approached!

Friday, 23 September 2016

Little about!

On Thursday 22nd September, 3 House Martin over the front garden in the early evening. Friday Had a look around Corton MOD track (1 Darter seen in flight), and Corton OSW. Nothing seen save for 30 Rats on the mound at the latter and Green Woodpecker heard.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Little on patch

Woke up with a thumping headache, but eventually out in the field by mid afternoon, I checked the patch for yesterday's migrants but they'd all gone save for 1 Wheatear seen at the net posts. It was using the posts to hunt for food, making frequent forays to fly down and catch and devour some unfortunate insect. At Ness Point, I could see a Guillemot on the water close by between the 1st and 2nd groins immediately north of Ness Point. I walked along the wall and managed to get some shots, as it swam steadily north. It was always within a metre or two of the end of the wreck of the old sea wall, now completely uncovered exposed at this very low ebbtide. Ringing Andrew E, he joined me and spotted 10 Brent Geese flying north in a linear line, low over the sea. At 6.40pm, receiving Rob's tweet, I jumped into the car and parked at nearby Baker's score (the scene of so many a frustrating autumnal seawatch, where often I never see anything; but this all changes in winter, where I usually do much better with the passing seabirds!) I walked down the hedgerow running south of the Corton allotments and clearly heard the sharp "tseoopp" call of the Yellow- browed Warbler from within the vicinity of the Vicarage garden, alas no further sign of it, on further investigation though.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Early dawn Dunlin

An early start round the patch today, Corton OSW, Netposts and Ness point bushes plus the Parks all were devoid of migrants but an adult Dunlin moulting into winter plumage was reasonably confiding as it fed with 5 Turnstone along the northern walkway at Ness Point, which I photo's after seeing Maurice B. 30 Gannets seen in total flying past and out out to sea off Ness Point (a good swatch for me as I usually seeing nothing). I had family commitments for the rest of the day and was too early for the migrants that frustratingly, for me, arrived at all these localities in the afternoon (and were gone the next day!).

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Hard work at Corton

Before work at Corton OSW on Thursday 15th September, the ringers had beaten me to it and were within the SW compound, 15 Meadow Pipits flew from the compound east and into the field, one was caught in the mist net and Derek was quickly on the scene to process it. Nothing at Radar Lodge track first thing. After work I tried Radar Lodge track again nothing for me, at Corton OSW the mound just south of the OSw was crawling with rats I counted at least 20! Meanwhile, a Whinchat was perched on the wire fence.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Osprey on Blythburgh estuary & Willow Emeralds at Corton

Back home on Saturday 10th Sept, 2 Chiff- Chaffs were heard singing in the garden. On Sunday, a really pleasant trip down to Blythburgh estuary led to me instantly seeing 1 of the Ospreys hunting over the far eastern side of the estuary. Dave H was there too. I looked out upon the estuary 1 then 2 elegant Curlew Sandpipers were feeding out on the mud at the back near the wooden posts sticking up. There bodies were more elongated, slimmer and whiter below with a peachy buff wash on the flanks, Of course they had longer down curved bills. When the Dunlin flew, 3 of the waders sported white rumps proving there were indeed 3 Curlew Sandpipers (no they weren't White- rumped Sands!!) They flew into a dip behind a group of around 15 Dunlin. One of their number included a much taller wp Spotted Redshank seen too. In the afternoon, a look at Corton New SW, revealed a very well marked bright male Migrant Hawker which was seen briefly, but it wouldn't pose at all for the camera. A male Common Darter did though, and also up to 7 Willow Emeralds obliged too, these green iridescent bejewelled insects posed on foliage around the outflow pond area and wooden walkway. 2 amorous S Southern Hawkers were mating and were interlocked 'inflagrento' as they flew together. Averting my gaze, I was approaching the south wood, when suddenly 3 Buzzard (all Common) flew abruptly out of the edge of the wood and flew up and south.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Very Hot Ibiza Birding!

From 2nd to 9th September, Jenny & I stayed at Cala Longha in the south of the Balearic island of Ibiza. Throughout the week, there was plenty of glorious sunshine, with the only clouds seen on the last day of out trip. Temperatures were very hot indeed, being in the high 30's and even touching 40 degrees celsius at times making birding very difficult, as most non- aquatic birds tended to hide in the heat. It was noticeable more passerines were seen on the last cloudier day. Also bear in mind hand luggage weight restriction (the bane of my life!) meant I couldn't take a telescope (I was taking 2 cameras and a Sigma 50-500mm lens, a Sigma 150mm macro lens and Canon 18-55mm lens plus Canon 7D and Canon 700D cameras) so couldn't ID a lot of smaller sized distant birds on the Salinas or the sea, plus my second pair of bins Zeiss Dialyt 10X42 developed a fault on the 1st day they could only focus long distance! On Friday 2nd a male Sardinian Warbler seen behind the room plus a female Blue Rock Thrush flew out of the bay. A look down the path leading inland by a wall revealed up to 24 Iberian Wall Lizards plus a Spotted Flycatcher which stayed faithful to a single bush. A female Blue- tailed Skimmer dragonfly also perched on the top of a wire fence. Up to 4 adult Audouin's Gulls seen around the beach. 4 were seen on the roof of a nearby supermarket and the birds flew onto the beach around 7pm as people started leaving the beach. On Saturday 3rd September, a trip to the Salinas, by far the best birding spot on the island, revealed in the first lagoon, with a hide now constructed at the far end, 38 Greater Flamingos with 5 of their number being brown juvenile birds. Counting all along the salt pans/ salinas area an incredible total of 600+ Greater Flamingos seen plus 20 Black necked Grebes seen afloat on the water. As I walked down the track to the hide, a Hoopoe flew right over the track and 3 Stonechat seen near the hide. Another male Stonechat was on overhead wire in an adjacent field. A Thekla Lark flew over calling. By the foreshore by the hide 5 immature brown Blue- headed Wagtails seen plus a female Kentish Plover and 5 Black- winged Stilt. Down the track past the salt works past, the salt mountain, in the long dyke running parallel to the track, obliging feeding immature Black- winged Stilt and Greenshank seen. By the scrub behind the restaurant no birds seen, where I have previously seen Balearic warbler, but the temp was around 40C, all I saw were 3 Iberian Wall Lizards. On Sunday 4th September, early on I heard a Peregrine calling from the hotel room but alas the bird could not be seen (because of the restricted view). Just before a Kestrel perched on wires. At Santiago del Rio, the only river area, wildlife here was sadly very elusive. At the park, an Iberian Wall Lizard scuttled past the path and showed well for a minute before disappearing. Along the river by a tree near the bridge, aa flurry of activity included a Serin heard in sub song, Spotted Flycatcher and a female Sardinian Warbler, Linnet and Greenfinch seen too. A Cetti's Warbler was hear by the river and that was it. On Monday 5th September, walking down at 7am, to town pics, 2 Serin fed by the weeds on the beach. On a boat trip to Ibiza town, a Grey Heron seen on the rocks, about 12 Iberian Wall Lizards seen around the fort included half being green ones. Jenny spotted a brief view of a Hummingbird Hawk Moth pointed out to me and I watched it for all of 30 seconds. On the return trip around 430 Yellow- legged Herring gulls seen on the sea plus on the rocks an Iberian Shag seen too. On Tuesday 6th September, near Ibiza Town and long straight road past some olive groves and my first Woodchat Shrike of the trip was seen also nowhere to stop. At Tallasia, reached by tuning off on a sharp left up a dusty track travelling around 4 miles to the peak by the radar station, a Firecrest showed well in trees as we parked. c6 Balearic Crossbills seen in total, the first one in a tree by the station, other flew overhead and 1 perched near the top of the tower briefly. Opposite the path, I first saw 3 Wall Browns plus a male Red-veined Darter perched on a bush. 3 Great Tits seen plus 3 Iberian wall Lizards including 1 green one and a real surprise was a daytime Moorish Gecko (initially thought to be an Agama but photos proved otherwise!) scrambled around the wall of the radar station. A Wasp Spider also seen in the middle of its web on the edge of a bush. Definitely the second best wildlife spot on the island. On Wednesday 7th September, on a return trip to Las Salinas, 56 Greater Flamingo seen by the first lagoon with 9 immature birds. On the foreshore by the hide, 3 Yellow immature Wagtails seen and 2 Kentish Polvers. 5 Black- winged Stilts seen. I counted 400+ Greater Flamingos seen. At the restaurant area by the beach, an Iberian Wall Lizard seen by the wall by the cafe, 2 Lesser Emperor Dragonflies seen as always constantly seen flying hunting for insects. By the bushes, a Spotted Flycatcher seen and a mysterious Warbler seen deep into a bush either sardinian or maybe Balearic but it disappeared and I will never know. On a trip to Es Canar, one then 2 Turtle Doves seen in flight plus one Turtle Dove flew out from a pine wood and perched on a telegraph line, again nowhere to stop, sadly. A Blackbird and Kestrel seen too. On Wednesday night whilst on a walk, 1 Moorish Gecko a erasable sized animal seen on a wall near a bush not far from the hotel. When I retrieved my camera it had gone but I found a smaller Moorish Gecko on a the corner of a wall near a phone box and that showed well albeit in a dark corner. A Cockroach also seen on another wall.On Thursday 8th I headed for the north- east part of the island, heading for the more northerly Cap de negro (inexplicably 2 are named within a few miles of each other just north of the clubbing capital san Antonio. I don't know if I reached the Cap or not, but it didn't matter as I stopped at a cliff top restaurant with striking steep drop and stunning views over the headland, the restaurant was signed Puertos de Los Ceilo and I parked by the Pines and immediately saw 3 Firecrest, a Sardinian warbler, this time a male and my main focus of the trip, a stunning Eleonora's Falcon first seen flying low and right over the sea. Later, this or another Eleonora's Falcon flew over the cliff top, a male Blue Rock Thrush also flew away. Driving the loop around to the K18 road passing through Olive groves, 4 separate Woodchat Shrikes seem flying up to a wire and then across the road, one perched a tree, one perched prominently on powerless near a cable pole near the road and 1 flew briefly down from an olive tree. A walk around the field revealed 2 Spotted Flycatchers, and an immature Ortolan Bunting flew up from a field verge and perched in an olive tree later flying down to the same area. Several 2 Thekla Larks flew over. 2 Chiff- Chaffs seen around the vegetation. a female Sardinian Warbler seen and showed well in a tree. Thursday night another Moorish Gecko seen on the wall near the entrance to another Hotel in the resort. My taking several pictures aroused interest from tourists and locals alike and I was able to explain about my lucky find, their habits, food preferences and the importance of conserving these and all wildlife.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

1st Sept Garden & work wildlife

Male Blackcap calling, young Blackbird on the lawn, Robin and about 10 Tits 5 each of Blue & Great were flying around the bushes by the kitchen in the garden this morning, a Small Tortoiseshell flying near the Burrage Centre (for the 2nd day) as I left at 5.33pm) plus a Whimbrel heard calling 15X flying south over James Paget hospital at 5.35pm couldn't see it though!