Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Somerset - Very Obliging Pipit!

I woke up to the sound of whatsapp messages ringing in my ear... Viewing of the Blyth’s Pipit had been arranged at Blagdon Lake Somerset. Ok engage brain.. could go Thursday as there is rain forecast for tomorrow. Then just as I had settled for that option Thursday became an impossibility leaving today. I went into headless chicken mode.. I don’t really know why because all my birding gear is packed ready for situations like this.

By 1000hrs I was on the road dreading the drive ahead but to be fair it was a trouble free journey. I took the scenic route via Stonehenge which still puzzles me but my eyes gaze at in awe as I pass the site!

Blagdon Lake was a very picturesque setting to spend the afternoon with very few birders viewing the bird. A gentleman had the bird in his scope so I took up the offer to have a brief view of it before I set my stall out.
The Blyth’s Pipit was in company of a small flock of Meadow Pipits which gave a great comparison to its general shape, long legs stouter belly and upright stance with a short bill. It was bigger than the Mipits with a more upright bolder stance and had less streaking on the breast with a plain buff belly. The bird showed almost constantly between short flights along the shoreline.

The lake also held a few Great White Egret and little Egret who were seen wading in the margins. A Little Stint was taking advantage of the ample food source along the shore. Tundra (Bewick’s) Swan was present at the far end of the lake.

It may have been a lengthy drive but it had been worth the visit. The lake is usually open to permit holders only. Access had been granted for a reasonable £4 day permit. The warden was very helpful but I am not sure how long this arrangement will last for though!

The drive home took me via Bristol which gave me splendid views of the Clifton suspension Bridge before I negotiated the town centre and the motorway home. Woo Hoo!!

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