Start Point etc

Some thick cloud, occasional heavy showers. Fresh WSW wind.

Got to Start Point for first light and did a vis mig watch from near the car park from 07:20-08:40. The following flew S-SW, 3 Swallows, 8 Skylarks, 80 Meadow Pipits, 23 'alba' Wagtails, 70 Chaffinches, 620 Linnets, 10 Siskins and 770 Goldfinches. At the start of the watch a Ring Ouzel came out of the bracken and perched on a fence near me but this promise did not lead to much, around the farm were single Wheatear, Redwing and 4 Chiffchaffs. Walked down the sheltered road to the light and nothing. Getting back near to the car park produced one of the most frustrating moments of my birding life. Picked up a bird of prey low down above the footpath north of the car park ( where i'd been vis migging earlier ) with two corvids in attendance. Instinctivly thought Harrier confirmed when I raised my bins. It was also either Montagu's or Pallid, with dark cheeks and a distinct collar around them quite likely the latter. Lost it behind the car park hedge and as it reappeared  still low at the top of Mattiscombe Valley thought better try my luck with the camera. Big ask of my basic bridge camera and I was unsuccessful. I could see by the corvids ( more now on its case ) it was heading towards the valley bottom and west towards Lannacombe. I hung around the car park for an hour then tried a couple high spots behind Prawle and Portlemouth predictably with no luck. Had I come up from the light 2 minutes earlier I would have probably took some video of it at close range, 30 seconds later and I would have been blissfully unaware. Would love someone else to pick it up elsewhere.

Went down and looked for migrants at South and North Hallsands but really quiet despite some good sheltered spots. WeBS count at Beesands produced 48 Gadwall and a Shoveler.

Posted October 17th, 2016 at 3:51 pm by Perry Sanders in Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts