Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Bank Hol Beds birding

Had two early morning starts in a row on Pegsdon - Saturday and Sunday. Both were good, with 4 Whinchats, 2 Tree Pipits, and a Grey Wagtail being the best of Saturday. Only one Tree Pip, the same 4 Whinchats, a light passage of Yellow Wags, and a newly arrived Spotted Fly (we saw it fly in high from the south) was the best of Sunday. We were also gripped off by other birders on the hill with a possible Nightingale seen by some, and a few Redstarts dotted around.

I think Autumn is my favourite season birding Pegsdon. You never know where birds are going to pop up next, or what you're going to bump in to. I hear today that another Pied Fly has been found there (well done Matt!) which isn't terribly surprising given the coverage this piece of chalk is getting at the moment. It only takes a few birds (and birders) to make a site go from zero to hero around here. I'm sure if Blows Downs got the coverage in Autumn that it does in Spring, a lot more would be found there. It's potential for being a top vismig site is also untapped at the moment too - its position on the chalk looks excellent.

Back to the weekend - Saturday evening was spent at Stewartby Lake. The two Black Terns were still zipping about (looking very un-American!) and there were 17 Yellow-legged Gulls in the roost. Herring Gulls are slowly coming in now with at least four noted. No Sabs Gulls for us again though.

After Pegsdon on Sunday I popped out with DOM to go up to Willington. The main was a bit of a surprise in that it has got its islands back! The last time it looked like this, a Pec turned up, so it will definitely have to be watched a bit more in the coming months. We found a Garganey sat on one of the islands with a few Teal, always a nice find. Octagon Farm was interesting too, although the water levels are very low and it won't be long before it vanishes under a load of top soil. The highlights here included a Greenshank, 5 Green Sands, 2 Common Sands, and two Ringed Plovers.

Monday was mostly spent at home, but a quick cycle ride around Broom cleared a few cobwebs away. The birding was slow though - 2 Greenshanks, and 80 Sand Martins were about the highlights, with duck numbers still fairly low.

Photo opportunities in recent weeks have been hard to come by, so I'll have to put some old stuff up instead...

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