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Sunday, April 07, 2013

7th April

Regent’s Park

I didn’t miss any migrants while away, but there is some good news.

Kestrel: after concern that we had lost the pair from the Longbridge Sanctuary I was pleased to get a text say they had returned. I wonder where they have been hanging out?

Woodcock: there have been four sightings over the past three days, from area 32 and 40.

Gulls: BH are down to only 65 birds and Common to 8.

Skylark: 2 flew over Primrose Hill and were a lifer for the observer.

Redwing: 25 flew over.

Devon

Visiting my sister in Barnstable was the most productive of trips away on the birding front. The long detour to an area just east of Torquay for Cirl Bunting proved fruitful but the cold blustery conditions meant the views I had of 5 birds ( 2prs and a male) was not the best. The sometime showed out in the open but at a fair distance and holding the camera steady meant that even any record shots were not worth keeping. While at my sisters we I did go out early on a very bright Saturday morning, and there was signs that spring was on it’s way with Chiffchaffs seen feeding in scrub alongside the road to Crow Point near Braunton Burrows. Close to the car park there were 8 Northern Wheatears. On the estuary there were Greenshank, Redshanks, Oystercatchers, Shelducks, 3 Brent Geese (not common here) and 5 Reb Breasted Merganser. I had a walk in the same area later in the day, this didn’t really produce anything new. This morning we had a walk down to Fremmington Quay, almost opposite to where we walked the day before. In the creak a winter plumaged Spotted Redshank showed well. That is typical, I had left my camera back in the house. I had seen one here many years ago, so it must be a reliable spot for them. We had good views of a Tawny Owl as it flew across the Tarka Trail (dissused railway walk). There were also a few Chiffchaffs, some in song and 2 Water Rails were in a small damp area of woodland.

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Spring was in the air, though these three were sunbathing sheltered from a chilly breeze by a bush.

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These two and the third bird didn’t look dark enough for Dark bellied Brent’s but were also not light enough on the flanks for Dark-bellied. The light wasn’t great and there was no way I was venturing out on to the mud flats to get a better angle. Any opinions welcome?

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What looks to be a goose flying over the sea is in fact the glare of the sun on the estuary mud.

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Several of the wheatears were absolute stunners.

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There was only one female present.

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