19 August, 2011

The Cliché Strikes Again

It's one of the famous birding clichés; a group of birders are waiting somewhere, be it on a twitch, seawatching, or just sitting in a hide, and as soon as one of them leaves, something good appears. Its especially strong if that poor someone wants to see said something good, most of all if they've said they do out loud.

Thus it was today at Bowling Green, when [Devon Birder] was hoping for a nice Yellow Wag, but left bird-less. Within 5 minutes a gorgeous one was tarting about by the depth gauge - albeit briefly, as it was flushed by Canadas, themselves disturbed by a coobeastie!

I went over this morning for the high tide [arriving in time, this go around...] and was rewarded with a whole heap of birds. Ok, so most were Canadas and BHGs, but there were a fair few waders too, and some were very nice. Avocets, for example; 2 early birds [pun intended] which had only arrived this morning. 3 juvenile Ruff showed very well [when it wasn't too badly affected by the sunshine], as did - oh sod it, here's the list;

Knot 14 [one still in very smart s/pl]
Dunlin 16
Green Sand 1 [plus 2 unseen]
Greenshank 19
Redshank ~100
Blackwit* ~240
Barwit 8
Lapwing 14
Curlew ~410
Whimbrel 1+ [Not specifically looked-for, this one stuck its head up while I was counting the Curlew]
Ringed Plover 3
L Egret 35
G Heron 1
BHG 600+
Med. Gull 1 [juv.]

[[*One Blackwit had a colour ring; yellow over red flag, but it was standing on one leg and side-on, so which leg they were on was impossible to determine. When the Blackwits flushed it vanished and wasn't refound while I was there]]

The thistles in front of the hide were taking a battering from a large party of Goldfinch, mostly juveniles. More than a dozen Pied Wagtails, plus a couple of Greys and at least one Yellow were mobile among the grass, cattle, and waterside, while overhead a good-sized group of mixed hirundines were active. A very smart Chiff came close to the window while working through a neighbouring tree, giving a lovely if brief view. Speaking of, so did the Red Arrows, as they came over from Dawlish way [though I thought the display was supposed to be yesterday?]. Eventually, a big blue tractor came to cut the rushes, and that was pretty much that.

This afternoon, brief drama as a female Common Hawker buzzed into the garden, had a look at the pond, then flew straight into the conservatory window! She made one hell of a thwack, but flew off apparently undamaged - I suppose dragonflies are pretty tough, judging by the violence of the clashes I've witnessed in the past [[Southern Hawker vs Emperor at Smallhangar springs to mind...]. Garden tick, but a pity she didn't hang around to oviposit - the pond leeches could do with thinning out...

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