Tuesday 24 July 2012

Weekend gone

Finally, a chance to update the blog.

Here we go with some highlights of the weekend just gone.

On Thursday, I did a short seawatch. Nothing much moving by the time I started, 15 manx shearwater north and five whimbrel were the highlights. On the reserve, the long-eared owls were still feeding their scattered young and a female marsh harrier was hunting.

Views of marsh harrier hunting over the Budge fields
I managed another short seawatch on Saturday evening, it looked quite promising but delivered little:-

manx shearwater 10 north
arctic skua 4
common scoter 65
red-throated diver 6

and a nice count of 55 sanderling on the beach.

On Sunday I did the WeBS count. It was very quiet as you would expect for July. Highlights were 15 shoveler and a new brood of gadwall. One wigeon and two teal were notable returnees. Flocks of egrets and cranes may well have been on the Budge fields but the grass is so high you wouldn't see them, it's tricky enough to see the ponies....seemingly cows are on the way. Watch this space.

The swallows that are nesting in the Oddie Hide have succeeded against all odds. We ringed the chicks a week ago and by Sunday all three had fledged.

Tonight I had a wander about, the barn owls at the farm are amusing me. You can see their box from the dunes or little hide. Some of the young have fledged and have been photographed, the smallest young are still in the box but hanging by their feet from the edge of the box, stretching their wings...not long now.

Five whimbrel were on the newly cut silage fields to the west and three (the same ones?) were on the beach later. The evening gull roost is building nicely with at least 900 common gulls on the beach at dusk. The tides are rubbish for gull-watching for the next few days though.

male stonechat on ragwort

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