Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Late (ish) Spot Fly

September 19th - with the evenings drawing in, my after work visit today gave me just enough time to peruse the gull roost.  There were good numbers of gulls considering the time of year, with an estimated 800 BHG being the bulk of them and smaller numbers of Herring and LBBG.  There were also three Common Gulls, an adult and two 1st winters and the regular adult Yellow-legged Gull.  I eventually managed to locate two different 1st winter Med Gulls in different parts of the roost, both fairly well advanced into 1st winter, though one had a slightly dirtier looking head than the other.  Given the poor and fading light, I didn't even attempt a photo.

Considering the previous morning had yielded 8 Snipe, it was good to count 17 this evening, with new birds arriving at a good rate.

September 20th - I was conscious that Spot Fly was not yet on the year list and time was gradually ebbing away.  I had tried all the usual areas many times, but was beginning to think that my absence in the back half of August might have cost me this species.  So, I was very happy to find a juvenile bird feeding in willows on the north side of the lake this morning.  It flicked in over my head and I watched it for a few minutes whilst it carried out a couple of sorties for insects, before it disappeared behind me.  Viewing in this spot is quite enclosed, so I walked to the northern field line and looked back towards the trees hoping to pick it up again (and take a record shot), but I couldn't find it and assumed that it had moved on through.  A very welcome addition to the year list and I breathed a sigh of relief.

There were still a few warblers about too. Apart from the ubiquitous Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, a single Willow Warbler and two Reed Warblers were on the north side of the lake and a rather elusive Lesser Whitethroat was feeding in a hedge by the car park.

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