November 2007

A flock of ca.230 jackdaws gathered in Flax Bourton before roosting on 25th. Two stonechats still along the cycle path.

Another tame and uncommon bird - this time a red-necked grebe photographed at Cheddar reservoir on 25th. A page of photos can be accessed by clicking on the image below. The bird is a juvenile: it has more yellow on the bill and is not as strongly marked as the bird I photographed at Chew in November 2004.

red-necked grebe

One of the birding highlights of the year for me was seeing a red kite close to my home in Flax Bourton on 19th. The bird was flying low (about rooftop level) and was mobbed by a herring gull. I saw it while doing the morning dog walk, and it approached within about 40m. Hopefully this is a sign of the species colonising the area.

An Aythya drake caused a lot of discussion at Chew on the afternoon of 17th. It showed a lot of features of a redhead, although the shape seems quite pochard-like at times. The bird was distant, and the light poor. Some rubbish, distant photos below, alongside one (by Alan Tate) of the Kenfig bird in 2004.

Aythya Aythya

Aythya Kenfig 'redhead'

Two short-eared owls fed over Aust wharf at dusk on 11th.

The glossy ibis at Greylake RSPB reserve on the Somerset Levels can be viewed from about 15m from the boardwalk. I went to photograph it on 10th. The bird was strongly backlit for most of the afternoon, and only late in the afternoon was the light good enough for getting decent photographs. Click on the image below to see more shots.

glossy ibis

A bearded reedling took long time to find at Berrow on 4th. Up to 4 Stonechats are a regular sight along the Flax Bourton cycle track at present, together with yellowhammers and skylarks - some quality farmland birds. A couple of ravens overhead on 3rd. The WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER at Kenfig Pool was a new bird for me, and given its tameness I couldn't resist going to photograph it. A page of images can be accessed by clicking the photo below.

White-rumped sandpiper