Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Some Old News

Anyone who reads Steve's blog will know about all this already, he's so bloomin' 'quick out of the blocks '! You'll know I started the day at Seaton Marshes with the AERG where we caught 7 Shelduck, three of which were 'fresh' birds. After this I took the dog for a long walk on Axe Cliff while Steve went to Branscombe and saw amongst other stuff, a Red-necked Grebe. I decided not to go for it. Firstly because I was already a long way into my walk, and secondly, I vaguely remember my very first Red-necked Grebe off Seaton seafront last October being particularly underwhelming.

A look over the estuary later revealed two of the Iceland Gulls, the dark one and one of the really pale ones. I wont bore you with further pictures of them. Instead here's a nice one of an estuary first for me, a shoe, not an espadrille, jellie, or flip-flop, of which I've seen plenty, no a man's dress shoe!

A lone shoe-totally alone!!

Whilst looking through the gulls a small flock of Black-tailed Godwits approached quite closely, one of which was adorned with some colourful legwear.

No need to send the details off because this is the bird ringed by the AERG early last Autumn. It's probably been in the Axe Valley all winter but today's the first time I've spotted it for a while.

Then off to the seafront after a 'mystery birder' told Steve and myself a gripping tale of Slavonian Grebes off Beer. We could see them but they were way off to the west and after Steve left for work I tootled over to Seaton Hole to see if I could get a better view. They were still relatively distant from here though, so I decided to go to Bransconmbe and look for the Red-necked Grebe, after all it had only been about four hours (!!) since it was last seen. Optimistic or what? Once at Branscombe beach I paid my £1.00 for the carpark, glimpsed a distant Red-throated Diver, and a single Great-northern Diver and availed myself of the sumptuous washroom facilities. Then I left. A real bargain I thought!

I returned to Seaton Hole and was pleased to see the Slavs much nearer and showing well. They were keeping company with a couple of Great-crested Grebes just to the east of my vantage point. I got a few photos, well after a fashion anyway!

Mixed Grebes

Three Slavonian Grebes - a patch record.

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