Posts Tagged ‘Stonechat’

Day 2 of my trip to West Wales and before we left the hotel we were treated to watching a stand-off between two Nuthatches in the garden. They stood absolutely still for about 5 minutes before one flew at the other and drove it off.

Nuthatches

Our travels started off on the Pendam Mountain Rd, where we had excellent views of Tree Pipit and Stonechat.

Stonechat

The rain started to fall and so we decided to make our way to the Dyfi Osprey Project site. From the hide, we had excellent views of the two nesting Ospreys.

Male Osprey

Osprey nest

 

 

 

 

 

Elsewhere on the reserve, we had good views of Cuckoo, Lesser Redpoll and Siskin along with hearing Reed and Sedge Warblers singing from the reed-beds.

Cuckoo

Lesser Redpoll

Wren

Siskin (m)

Our next stop was Glandyfi, a viewpoint looking over the Dyfi Estuary. Here we added Goosander to the species seen along with Cormorant and a number of Little Egrets.

View over Dyfi estuary

Our final visit was to a hill at the rear of the RSPB reserve at Ynys Hyr where we had again excellent views of Cuckoo but although we could hear a singing Whinchat we were unable to locate the bird. Buzzards circled overhead and as we prepared to leave a Grey Heron flew down the valley.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Osprey [sp] (Pandion haliaetus)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)

Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Tree Pipit [sp] (Anthus trivialis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Redpoll [sp] (Carduelis flammea)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

River Dart

River Dart

Our second day in Devon found us exploring the southern part of the county with local birder Mike Langman. Our first stop was at Waddeton where we found some Cirl Bunting feeding on a cattle feeder. From here we moved onto a stretch of the River Dart near Buckfastleigh to look for Dipper. Although we did find 3 drake Mandarin ducks, a somewhat unexpected species, the Dipper was nowhere to be seen.

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Our next stop was at Staverton where amongst the over-wintering Chiffchaffs we located a Yellow-Browed warbler that has been spending the winter here. Yellow-Browed is usually a species seen as a rare migrant but there appear to be a number over-wintering in Devon this year – maybe a result of the mild weather. Also present were a party of Fieldfare, together with single Mistle and Song Thrush. At the nearby river, we had a brief view of a Dipper flying under a bridge, but which we were unable to relocate.

Yellow-Browed Warbler. photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Yellow-Browed Warbler. photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

 

Still, we were not to be denied a good view of Dipper and at our next stop at Darlington Mill, we got some excellent views of one feeding in the stream.

Dipper

Dipper

On then to the south-west coast of Devon at Thurlestone to find another unusual over-wintering species, Desert Wheatear – a bird which is normally found in North Africa. The weather had taken a turn for the worse by the time we arrived and on our first look the small beach seemed deserted, but then Mike found the bird sheltering under the lee of the bank at the back of the beach. We managed excellent views as it began to feed amongst the undergrowth before returning to shelter from the conditions behind a stone.

Thurlestone Beach

Thurlestone Beach

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear

Stonechat

Stonechat

We moved on down the coast to South Huish Marsh where a number of species were added to our list including Wigeon, Shoveller, Teal and Little Grebe. We checked out the Gull roost but only common species were present.

South Huish Marsh

South Huish Marsh

Next, we crossed to the south-east coast to Slapton Ley where Great Crested Grebe, Pochard and Tufted Duck were added to the day’s list, but no Scaup or Black-necked Grebe, which are regular here could be seen.

Slapton Ley

Slapton Ley

After crossing the River Dart, we stopped briefly at Noss on the Dart to search the small woodland for firecrest and other woodland species. A Goldcrest was seen and a Great-Spotted Woodpecker was heard. An excellent day. Thanks to Mike for driving us around and showing us these great sites.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Desert Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe deserti)
White-throated Dipper [sp] (Cinclus cinclus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)

Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus)

 

DSCN9713a

 

It was a lovely sunny autumn day and a chance to get out to do some nature-watching. These days have been rare recently due to working on a number of other projects. Today Keith and I headed off to the RSPB reserve at Cliffe, stopping first for our early lunch/late breakfast stop at Tabitha’s food wagon near West Court Farm. Fortified and refreshed we proceeded to see what was about on the land surrounding the farm. Small parties of Greylag Geese, Canada G eese and Rooks were present and Keith thought he heard a Green Sandpiper but we were unable to locate it.

Moving onto the reserve we found a Willow Warbler in some trees, but although we were surrounded by Robin’s singing our first inpression was that there was fewer birds than we would have expected for the time of year. As we walked around we did find small parties of Long-tailed Tit.

Long-tailed Tit (photo by Keith)

Long-tailed Tit (photo by Keith)

 

The most numerous butterfly was Large White, along with smaller numbers of Red Admirals and Peacocks  and we did find a single Green-Veined White, which some years have a late September brood. It is possible though that this individual was a survivor from the summer brood as timings do seem to be late this year.Dragonflies were represented by good numbers of Migrant Hawker and Common Darter.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Common Darter

Common Darter

 

Green-Veined White

Green-Veined White

Reaching the Estuary we were surprised that even on a rising tide the number of wading birds were low with only a single Pied Avocet and a small party of  Curlew. We did get good views of Stonechat on the sea-wall.

Stonechat

Stonechat

Returning inland we saw a Common Buzzard being mobbed half-heartedly by Carrion Crows and a short while later the same or another flew overhead. On the path we found some Small Heath butterflies resting up amongst the stones. These are another indication that this years timetable is running late as traditionally these do not survive much beyond the first week of September.

Common Buzzard (Photo by Keith)

Common Buzzard (Photo by Keith)

Small Heath

Small Heath

As we climbed back up towards the village, we found a Sparrowhawk sitting on top of a cage of game-birds, but it was away before either of us could raise our cameras.

It had been a good days birdwatching but without any stand-out birds. Nether the less it was a lovely day and it was good to get some nature watching in after some weeks of inactivity.

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)