Monday, 6 March 2017

Roe Deer at Burrator and Scandinavian Rock Pipit at Wembury

The crap weather continues whenever I have a day off and so getting out and about has been a little restricted. The March doldrums have also arrived where birds are starting to move and I start to get impatient for spring.

Wednesday 1st March and we had a quick walk around Burrator Reservoir on a grey, showery, cool and misty morning. The water level in the reservoir still wasn't high enough for it to flow over the dam but Mavis did send me a recent photo where it was doing so. Bird highlights were a jay, lots of showy goldcrests and singing and songflighting siskins but the best sighting were 3 roe deer - 2 feeding out in the open in a field by the road and 1 actually on the road trying to find a gap in the fence to get into the woodland.

 Roe Deer, Burrator

Roe Deer

Friday 3rd March and I headed out to Wembury on the bus on a wet, cool and windy morning but on arriving at Wembury the rain at least did stop and it stayed dry until I returned home. However the footpath was a total quagmire and I did slip and fall over once but for a change I didn't hurt myself nor get too dirty!

It was quiet bird wise but highlights were :- 4 pairs of stonechats between Wembury Beach and Wembury Point, 1 little egret, 1 female kestrel, 9 cirl buntings (1 male in the hedge by the wheatfield path and 3 male and 5 female in the hedge by the HMS Cambridge wheatfield), roosting oystercatchers along the beach at high tide, gannets and fulmars offshore, a grey wagtail feeding on the seaweed mass on the beach near the second horse field and 2 Canada geese in the sheep field.

I had a brief search for Dartford warblers again at Wembury Point but with no luck and a search through the mobile and flighty pipits feeding on the seaweed mass on the beach by the sewage pipe only initially turned up rock pipits and meadow pipits before I finally found the wintering water pipit, brief views only before it flew off down the beach and looking a bit scruffy and dishevelled compared to my previous sightings earlier in the year, possibly due to the wet and windy weather but maybe also due to commencement of moult into summer plumage.

I also found a littoralis or Scandanavian rock pipit amongst the more usual petrosus birds, showing a marked blue tone to the head, a buffy pink wash to the chest, white wing bars, a distinct white eye-ring and a distinct pale supercilium behind the eye. I managed to take a few rubbish photos which have toned down both the blue head colouring and pinky washed breast, both much more obvious in the flesh than in the photos.

 Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Wembury

 Rock Pipit

Rock Pipit

Arriving back home and my muddy and wet jeans went straight into the washing machine but it had been a pleasent few hours out of the house - just hurry up spring!

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