Stilts, Ouzels and a Firecrest

Saturday 1st - Saturday 29th April 2017
Black-winged Stilt, WWT, 23rd April
Three BLACK-WINGED STILTS showed extremely well from Robbie Garnett hide at WWT on 23rd. They turned up during the week and I was glad they had the manners to stay until the weekend. A Little Gull on the Rushy and a Grasshopper Warbler at Middle Point completed a good morning.
Black-winged Stilt, WWT, 23rd April

Black-winged Stilts, WWT, 23rd April
Little Gull, WWT, 23rd April
Forward to today, Saturday - a redhead Smew remains on the Rushy, and was giving good views. The best birds at Middle Point at high tide was a Whinchat, three Wheatears, two Grasshopper Warblers, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper and a flyover Yellow Wagtail. It was quiet at Saul Warth earlier before the tide, the highlights being six Whimbrels and three Wheatears including a Greenland type.
Smew, WWT, 29th April
Yesterday after work I spent nearly two hours on Cleeve Common before finally tracking down Ring Ouzels - eight of them, including five spanking males.
Ring Ouzel, Cleeve Common, 28th April
Ring Ouzel, Cleeve Common, 28th April
During my search I came across a lovely patch of Early Purple Orchids which maintained morale,
Early Purple Orchid, Cleeve Common, 28th April
I first saw the WWT Smew earlier in the week, my first in the county since 2015.
Smew, WWT, 26th April
I had a lovely stay in Brixham at the end of last week. I wasn't birding but couldn't resist watching the tame Turnstones around the harbour. Oh, and there was a good selection of seabirds on the boat trip to Dartmouth including Gannets, Guillemots, Common Scoters and Red-breasted Mergansers. On the way down I enjoyed a Hornet harvesting wood for nest-building at NT Killerton.
Turnstone, Brixham, 21st April
Hornet, Killerton, 20th April
Notable garden insects of late:
Holly Blue, garden, 17th April
Dark-bordered Bee-fly, garden, 17th April
This fine second-summer Mediterranean Gull was on the WWT Rushy on 15th and the waders on South Lake provided another photo opportunity.
Mediterranean Gull, WWT, 15th April
Black-tailed Godwit, WWT, 15th April
Spotted Redshank with Black-tailed Godwits, WWT, 15th April

A co-opertive Orange-tip was at North Meadow, Cricklade, on 15th whilst I was admiring the Snakes-head Fritillary display.
Orange-tip, Cricklade, 15th April
Orange-tip, Cricklade, 15th April
I'll finish this post with some Cattle Egret photos from earlier this month, and a shot of the cracking jewel of a bird, a Firecrest, at WWT on 1st.
Cattle Egret, near WWT Decoy hide, 8th April
Cattle Egrets, Frampton north reed-bed flashes, 2nd April
Firecrest, from WWT Holden Tower, 1st April

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