Thursday, 26 March 2009


Wednesday morning and Malc, Jason and I arrive at Young's Waterpark, Paington, Devon for the start of a South Coast near clean up. Unfortunately we'd brought the Northern weather with us and a strong North West wind all day hampered birding. With not a single summer migrant on show or our main quarry we decided to nip over to a well known stakeout for Cirl Bunting just round the corner. Within five minutes of arriving at the seed enhanced carpark 3 male Cirl Buntings were seen easily so back to Paington we went. Another half an hour an still bugger'all so just one more look as I was about to get into the car and the tell tale sign of reed mace blowing in the wind pointed to the boy. Whap one stonkin male Penduline Tit performed for all of a minute before disappearing into the reeds....about time I had some luck. Last one of these cute little jobbies for me was way back in 1991 at Farlington Marsh, Hampshire.

Next port of call Dawlish Warren and within minutes we'd seen female Surf Scoter and Sarny Tern.
Onward and upward so with our luck still holding we called in at Budleigh Salterton. It not being Friday we dipped on the possible/probable USA Herring Gull thats been about for a week or two. Migrants were at last on show with one Whimbrel and one Barn Swallow at this delightful South Coast estuary (the Otter).
At Bridport Fire Station the wintering YBW didn't perform for us, the strong wind blowing the willows around too much, more like Autumn than Spring.
Thence to the main reason for the trip (for Jason) Radipole, Weymouth and after purchasing a loaf of bread we fed the resident male Hooded Merganser near the Gurkha Restaurant.

Two of the North Wests finest yearlisters feeding the ducks, the things these guys will do to get a year tick. By the way Hovis worked wonders.

The male Hoody coming to bread surely its plastic? my 5th in the UK and still not OML but good value for a year tick!
Over at nearby Lodmoor a Spoonbill (actually feeding and not asleep for a change) plus a skulking Willow Warbler rounded off a satisfying trip down South.

Tuesday at Marbury and an influx of Pied Wags included 2 Whites (not patch yearlist tickable) plus a flyover (the mere) Green Sandpiper. 40+ Sand Martins over the mere means Spring has definately arrived at last.


Jason said...

Thats not a very flattering pose !
I am not a bender you know.

Pete Antrobus said...

Funny that most of the 'top'listers in the UK are members of the GBC!!!