Saturday, 20 September 2014

misty wheatear

.........and on the path at Burnham Overy Dunes in the mist was this Wheatear - the mist having a strange effect on the photographs giving them a painting like feel

Mist it...

The early morning mist which lifted yesterday round 11 am, didn't today - so spent the day birding in some misty and slightly drizzly conditions. Made a start at Burnham Overy Dunes.
The bushes at the end of the boardwalk had about twenty bird spotters in front of them, but on our approach we found a Red-breasted Flycatcher feeding near the path, a Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler.
By the bushes there was another Red-breasted Flycatcher, Lesser Whitethroat, a couple of Spotted Flycathers and Chiffchaff. Viewing was considerably hampered and photography was virtually impossible - there is a Rb Fly in the middle of this pic !
Being crowd intolerant Phil and I decided to bird the rest of the dunes towards Gun Hill which produced more Redstarts and another Spotted Flycatcher. Everything was too far distant to photograph apart from this Spotted Flycatcher which although some distance sat in the drizzle just long enough to have it's photo taken.
Another skirt round the bushes revealed a few more Garden Warblers, Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaffs and although we could hear the Yellow-browed calling yes never saw it. The mist was closing in significantly but I did attempt this Lesser Whitethroat - but it was a poor result as the awful conditions played havoc with the camera.
We left as groups of Siskins started to bounce their way along the track, amid groups of Swallows, Chaffinches and thrushes. It had a real migrant feel. Plus I heard my first Pink-footed Geese of the autumn.
On to Wells Woods where we added Pied Flycatcher, some more Spot Flys and then another birder (Ashley) gestured that he'd just seen an Olive-backed Pipit. We searched around for a while then headed to the Drinking Pool where we found this Red-breasted Flycatcher. We returned to the car park to increase our stay.

Adding more money to the car park proved a problem as the machine wasn't accepting credit cards so we had to get cash from the shop - while this was happening the "birders of the Dell" were busy watching the Olive-backed Pipit and my phone (my thanks to Geoff for trying to alert me) which had decided to switch to answer machine mode was telling my pocket that good views were being had. Oblivious to this we returned to The Dell and the Pipit decided not to show, well to me, Phil was lucky enough to see it briefly. Still none of that detracted to a great day of migrant spotting. Soft and unusable pics but some lovely birding moments.

Friday, 5 September 2014


A few hours spent down at Burnham Overy Dunes before picking up Tom from school. The track down to the sea wall was quiet for birds as a pile driver was setting up new fences. The Black-necked Grebe which had been present for a couple of days was on the large pool in the company of several Little Grebes, but very distant. Left hand bird here.
Then on the approach to the board walk there were a couple of Pied Flycatchers and also two Whinchats. The Whinchats were impossible to get close to but one of the Pied Flys came really close onto the fence wire - I was too slow and off it flew. Shame as it would have been a cracker. I walked west along the scrub and found a Redstart and another Pied Fly but little else was moving here apart from some Dunnocks.
Returning to the board walk and one of the Pied Flys came close enough for a snap, albeit straight into the hazy cloud ridden sunshine.
My quarry species had been Whinchat but they were far too flighty to approach and the light was pretty appalling, so it was a nice surprise to find this Redstart low down and with careful creeping quite approachable.

time to walk back and pick Tom up from Wells - and a hovering  Kestrel was my last sighting.