Tuesday, 27 September 2016

September Round Up

I took trips out to Wembury on September 13th and 15th and saw a nice selection of migrants on what were warm and sunny days. The highlight and surprise on the 13th was a great northern diver flying west offshore. It was flying quite high and at a distance and briefly with a cormorant and for a few seconds I was puzzled as to what it was. The highlight and less of a surprise on the 15th were 3 whinchats together in the sewage farm hedge - I usually see 1 bird every autumn so 3 together was unusual. A ringed plover and 2 bar tailed godwits with oystercatchers on the rocks at high tide, a juvenile wheatear along the beach, swallows overhead heading east, chiffchaffs calling in the bushes and a whitethroat at the Point were all notable and a clouded yellow butterfly flitting past briefly was only my 2nd of the year. Also on a brief stop at Blagdons Meadow on the way home on September 13th I eventually found a few Autumn ladies tresses amongst the grass but they were mostly gone over.

 Kestrel, Wembury

 Dark Bush Cricket, Wembury

 Small White, Wembury

 Shield Bug, Wembury

 Autumn Ladies Tresses, Blagdons Meadow

 Two of the Three Whinchats, Wembury

 'Shiny' Bug, Wembury

Bar-tailed Godwits with Oystercatchers, Wembury

A trip to the beach at Cawsands on the 14th on a hot and sunny day was a bonus with 3 Sandwich terns seen fishing offshore (2 adults and a juvenile) - they were very noisy with the adults calling over the juvenile when they caught a fish but also attracting the attentions of nearby herring and great black backed gulls. A brief view of a winter plumaged Mediterranean gull flying by was later improved with good views of a bird on the slipway at Cremyll as we waited for the ferry back to Plymouth.

 Mediterranean Gull, Cremyll

 Mediterranean Gull, Cremyll

Mediterranean Gull, Cremyll

Sunday 18th and I headed off to Topsham for the day with the hope of getting some good views of ospreys with 7+ birds having been present recently. I wasn't disappointed with an excellent view of a bird soaring overhead at the viewing platform before drifting off towards Exminster while a second bird was fishing along the Exe near Riversmeet House - the only trouble was where to look first!

Also seen from the viewing platform were a Sandwich tern, a chiffchaff and a roving party of long tailed tits and from the hide at Bowling Green Marsh a common sandpiper was the highlight amongst the usual birds - black tailed godwit, teal, pintail, wigeon, redshank and curlew, etc.

A look from the screens overlooking Goosemoor and at least 25 noisy and mobile greenshanks were flying about while 5 juvenile ruff were much harder to see as they fed in the long grass before flying down to the mud to bathe and preen - 3 females and 2 larger males.

 Greenshank, Goosemoor

4 of the 5 Ruff at Goosemoor with Curlew

Mothing in the back yard hasn't been overly exciting with lots of wasps still being trapped (no more stings though), single large ranunculus and a very nice L-album wainscot, my first sighting in the back yard for 4 years.

L-Album Wainscot, Back Yard

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