Sunday, 4 October 2015

Geese and Serin

Sunrise on Orcombe Point this morning.
Nick and I did 0700 - 0930 on Orcombe this morning. Conditions felt great but it was disappointingly quiet. We recorded just 5 Redpoll, 5+ Goldcrest, 2+ Coal Tit, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 7 Turnstone, 3 Grey Wagtail, 1 Kestrel and c5+ Chiffchaff, with small numbers of Chaffinch, Siskin, 'Alba Wagtail, Linnet, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Swallow over. There seemed to be an increase in Blackbird and Song Thrush numbers too.
After lunch, with Lu and the kids busy, I nipped down to the river to have a look at the goose flock. As the tide dropped, the Brents began to move into the saltmarsh by the Leisure Centre, and with them the Ridgways Cackling Goose. I rattled off some dire shots but was pleased to at least get an image of it. In fairness the light was pretty lousy and the bird was never that close. I counted 740 Dark-bellied Brent Goose and was pleased to pick out the 5 Pale-bellied Brents and a smart adult Black Brant - presumably last winter's returning bird. There were 10 Sandwich Tern off there too.
With a bit of time to spare I decided to check the area around Maer Lane Waste Water Treatment Works. I picked up a Jay and several hirundines were heading into the south-easterly wind, that had really strengthened since this morning. At about 1450 I was amazed to pick up the distinctive trill of a Serin. It called loud and clear several times but I was unable to get on it, and a thorough search of the area drew a blank. Whether it was simply passing through, or is still somewhere in the area remains to be seen.

Adult Black Brant - presumably the returning individual.

Ridgways Cackling Goose - I finally managed a photo, albeit an awful one. It was only with the main flock off the Bus Station for a few minutes before flying back out with a small group of Brents, to the middle of the river.
The family group of 5 Pale-bellied Brent Goose. Present since September 19th at least and photographed on Maer Rocks on that date.
Yesterday on Orcombe - 2 Wheatear, 2 Stonechat, 1 Whitethroat, 2+ Grey wagtail, 2+ Redpoll, c5+ Blackcap, c10+ Chiffchaff, c10+ Goldcrest, 1 Coal Tit and a very probable Turtle Dove.

Stonechat - Orcombe 3/10

Coal Tit - Orcombe 3/10 - no continental birds as yet.

Wheatear - Orcombe 3/10

Sunset from the back garden last night.

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