Yesterday morning I was on hide opening duty at Radipole which is always a pretty pleasant job. It’s nice to be the first person to look out of the hide as plenty of goodies have been found like that in past. Nothing exceptional yesterday. Kingfisher, a few Beardies and the regular ducks. Plenty of pipits were flying around and my ears were tuned into Water Pipit as there’s usually a few birds that winter at Radipole. Didn’t hear any of them but did hear something I didn’t immediately recognise. First impression was that it was similar to Redwing in structure (though wasn’t a Redwing!), a slightly down slurred call though not as drawn out as Redwing. Heard it again and it was clearer this time. It sounded a little raspy. At that point I immediately recalled Red-throated Pipit. Heard it twice more and almost convinced myself. The bird was calling from the North end of the reserve so the next hour saw me wading around the fields armed with the camera on video mode to record to call. However, my efforts drew a blank. If it was one it’s a really late record but not impossible I guess.
It was a nice walk around the reserve though, a Bittern flushed from 5 foot in front of me and I had a slightly heart stopping moment whilst scanning some Reed Mace. A small orange bird with a short tail (as in not a Bearded Tit!) flitted between two seed heads. I instantly assumed Penduline Tit! This wasn’t the case though the bird did have a black mask. It was a bloody Stonechat... A frustrating day! Did get two Water Pipits on my walk though.
So this morning I thought I’d get back out to Clouds Hill. Got up first thing and it was drizzling quite heavily so went back to bed. An hour or so later it had stopped so ventured out. It was a very quiet morning with little in the way of new arrivals. A few Blackbirds were knocking around which were probably migrants. Only caught one though.
I waited around for the Long-tailed Tit flock to come through as there’s often a warbler or two hanging around with them. They came and went and nothing else came through with them. These two had clearly fallen out about something...
Last net round produced this little fella. Not caught many of these this autumn.
Overhead passage was pretty rubbish. Skylarks and Meadow Pipits dribbled through, as did a few Goldfinch, one Redpoll and one Brambling. However this bird livened things up briefly. Can you tell what it is??
A Richard’s Pipit obviously. Picked it up on call first and at the time had the wrong lens on the camera and had a Blue Tit in my hand. The tit went back in the bag and I nearly dropped my camera trying to change lenses. Managed the above shot as it carried on towards the Swannery, calling every 4 or 5 seconds. One day I’ll actually be prepared for something rare to fly past!