Saturday 02 November – Blagdon Lake

 The morning’s field meeting was very well attended and we got off to a great start with excellent views of two adult Yellow-legged Gulls at the Lodge. Then, and before we’d even started the walk, we saw an extremely late juvenile Swallow fly over (it’s the latest date I have in my lake database by some margin with the previous late date being 13th October 2012). A couple of Skylarks were heard flying over at the Lodge and Mike Johnson spotted a ringed Mute Swan, yellow ‘BJB’, there too. Chris Perrins wrote to me later to tell me: “Yellow ‘BJB’ (BTO ZY5592) was ringed at Abbotsbury, Dorset 06/10/11 as a first-winter ? (not hatched at Abbotsbury). It was reported at Chew Valley Lake on 25th July this summer.”The rising wind seemed to keep the small passerines well hidden, though Meadow Pipits were very much in evidence. We even saw a few Red Admirals in sheltered, sunny, spots. A flock of Siskins gave us good telescope views in the Alders at Hellfire Corner and a few of the group found some Redwings at Bell’s Bush where we stopped to check over the wildfowl at Top End. ‘Jonitor’ and ‘Willows’ the two adult Bewick’s Swans were still present despite the rising water level, and we found the Black Swan, two Little Egrets, a handful of Northern Lapwings and some good-looking ? Pintails that have just about attained full breeding plumage. Thanks to everyone who came, it made for a very enjoyable morning walk.