14th – 16th February – a failed musical concert, a big bird in the hand and a flooded valley.   Leave a comment

Most of the last week has been taken up sorting photos and notes from the Oman trip, however we managed to get out on a couple of occasions but with the severe weather, options were limited.


The local church held a fund-raising musical concert on Friday, however when we arrived we heard that due to the severe storm and flooded roads that the musicians couldn’t get there. The vicar and his wife managed to rustle up some quizzes and musical performances and it ended up being a very pleasant evening.


As we left we saw that the storm had brought down a huge branch from the big pine in the churchyard. Most of what can be seen in the photo is small branches, the giant bough can just be seen lying between the gravestones. It appeared that no serious damage was done.


On Sunday the weather improved enough to allow us try ringing at Fleets Lane. We retrapped three Chiffchaffs, two had been ringed this winter but one had been ringed in 2012 , our third example of winter site fidelity. However the big surprise, in every sense of the world was this Buzzard, in 35 years of ringing I have only seen two adult Buzzards in the hand in the UK, both of them within the last four months.


Shaun with the Buzzard. The lack of a solid band at the tip of the tail and the pale grey eye shows that this bird is a first year (age code 5).


The eyes darken to a dark brown in adult birds..


It was soon given its liberty and could go back to perching on the lamp posts on the Holes Bay Road.


Terry popped down with his three year old daughter, Kimberly. Mum isn’t going to be happy about those trousers.


On Sunday afternoon we visited Blashford Lakes again. This has proved to be my most regularly visited site in 2014 as there has been quite a run of good birds in the area. Unfortunately due to work on electricity cables downed in Friday’s storm, the reserve was closed. We were able to access the lakes via another path and, perhaps, because so few people were about, the wintering Great White Egret was out in the open. This colour-ringed bird was hatched in France in 20003 and has visited the Blashford Lakes every winter from 2003 to 2014 but can range widely and be quite elusive.


We headed down the flooded Avon valley, stopping at Avon Causeway to look in vain for the Green-winged Teal that was there in January. We then drove down to Hengistbury Head to search for the 1st winter Iceland Gull that has hung around offshore for the last few days. We dipped of course, we later found that it was on nearby Stanpit Marsh!


I am busy for the next few weeks but will update you again in mid-March

Posted February 17, 2014 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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