Saturday, 30 November 2013

A Splendid Day

Up a 6.00am to get ready for a trip over to Brand's Bay and the Birds of Poole Harbour guided
walk around the Harbour . Set off at 7.00am to meet in the Brand's Bay layby arrived about 7 45/50am
as I went the long way round as I think it is just a bit quicker than driving through Poole to the ferry from my house.
Looking out over Poole Bay from Ferry Road

We made our way to the hide and close to the hide a Snipe took flight sound is alam call.
got comfortable in the hide despite a good chilly wind blowing in off the bay and started to scan the area for birds. Just in front of the Hide was a nice Curlew and then the Surf Scoter was spotted and good views of this long staying bird was had in the good morning light. After watching Shelduck, Wigeon, Pintail, Lapwing and Red Breasted Mergansers. When all of a sudden a lot of birds took flight scanning the sky for a predtor coming in low was a wonderful female Marsh Harrier.

After this we made our way to Red Horn Quay to look for divers and grebes, here the wind was quite sharp and the bay was a bit choppy. We found a good group of Red Breasted Merganser again, and a group of nine Dunlin flew right to left across the bay. As it looked like the birds were further down the bay we made a move to Jerry's Bay and on the way we came across a couple of Dartford Warblers, a Meadow Pipit and Stone Chat. Further along the track there was a small bay with some Oystercatchers and Brent Geese, still making our way through the wet and soggy heather the main group started to get a head of me as I kept stopping to watch another Dartford warbler.
Now at Jerry's Point every one was searching the water for birds, when I noticed what I thought was a couple of divers out in the channel. Asked the the group leader if the were and he got is scope on them and the were Great-Northern Divers
The Castle on Brownsea
Then just off the Haven Hotel a female Eider was spotted and once again I had another lifer with the help of one of the group and letting me look through is scope (just hope my scope turns up soon)

Another move round to Studland to look for the Black-Necked Grebes but no luck with those this time,
so we moved back round to the bay and again my seconded lifer of the day was pointed out and looking through a scope again I saw my first Black-Throated diver.

This brought a close to a very good morning with good company and some very nice birds seen as follows

Snipe, Curlew, Wigeon, Lapwing, Shelduck, Little Egret, Pintail, Surf Scoter, Red-Breasted Merganser, Great-Northern Diver, Black-Throated Dive=Lifer, Eider=Lifer, Great Crested Grebes, Oystercatchers, Brent Geese , Marsh Harrier and on the heath Dartford Warblers, Meadow Pipit and Stone Chat.

After the long walk back to the car along ferry road from the ferry terminal  I decided I would go over to Heartland Moor,to see if the Hen Harrier was about on the way along ferry road I saw two Kestrels working along the road side hedges and field and a Buzzard perched on a telegraph pole .So I had high hopes of seeing a Hen Harrier. There was no sign of Harriers just another Kestrel working far out on the Moor. Though I did have the bonus of seeing another 3 Dartford Warblers along the track and managed to get a record shot of one after messing up a good composition of a Dartford perched out in the open on top of a gorse bush. By having the camera  set wrong and by the time I put it right the bird had gone low in to the gorse.
Dartford Warbler

Hart Hide
Looking out across the Moor

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Blashford Lakes

Today I took a trip out to Blashfords again as I have not been for a while to see what was about, a look in the Tern hide first found it to be busy so I took a walk over to Ivy North Hide with the hope of seeing the Bittern and Water Rail but no luck with these two. Though I did get a lifer with a good sighting of a Green Sandpiper.
After this I made my way over to the Wood Land Hide were the bird were very busy taking advantage of the free seed in the feeders I sat a while watching Blue Tits,Great Tits, Nuthatch, Goldfinch , Chaffinch and many more birds making the most of this free food with bank voles scurrying about under the feeders for fallen seed.
I must of been here for aleast half an hour before I made a move over to Ivy South Hide
Looking out across Ivy Lake
I found this hide empty on arriving so I sat a while and had a cuppa while I watched Little Grebe a few Pochard, Wigeon and Gadwall out on the lake
Looking left from Ivy South Hide
Along with Coots and Great-Crested Grebes and a Grey Heron perched in a tree over to the left in the trees as there was not much going on expect  some Wigeon coming in a bit closer I decided to make a move to Gooseander Hide.
So I back tracked up past the Wood Land Hide and along the path I stopped to watch a Wren searching for insects among the moss laden stumps of old trees when something caught my eye in one of the trees. Scan the tree with my binocluars I found a Tree Creeper working its way up the trunk looking for insects in the bark of the tree . I carried on up along the path and along the Docken water ( a small stream) were I came across a wonderful little bird in the Holly I watched for a while and this Little bird came down and I had a good view of a Firecrest taking a small drink from the stream.
Finally made my way to the Gooseander hide at first there did not seem much about but a scan over to my right were a mass of duck and in among the Tufted duck, Gadwall I spotted my second lifer a stunning Great-Crested Pochard, in the late afternoon sun is head a features were lovely.
With lots more Coots and Swans about on the water the other interseting birds were the 7 Gooseanders that came swimming across the lake and hualed them self out on the grass bank.
Look right from the Gooseander hide
One of the many Coots seen today

Birds seen today were as follows
Mute Swans, Coots, Gadwalls, Wigeon, Pochard, Green Sandpiper=lifer, Canada Geese, Grey Heron,Cormorants, Tufted Duck, Gooseander, Great -Crested Grebes,Little Grebes and Red-Crested Pochard=lifer
In the wood and and long the paths.
Blue Tits, Great Tits, Cole Tit, Nuthatch, Goldfinch,Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Collard Doves, Blackbird,
Wrens, Robins,Tree Creeper and a Fire Crest.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Brand's Bay

Today 16th November went over to the bay again with the hope of seening a Great-northern Driver a lifer for me. After much scanning the bay I found the diver and with confirmation from other birders I got my lifer.
Out in the bay were more Red-breasted Mergansers and far over in the distance the imm- Surf Scoter was there again it must like it in the bay as it as been here for almost 2 weeks now.
Birds seen today were
Surf Scoter, Great-northern Diver, Goldeneye, Wigeon, Great-crested Grebes, Shelduck, Little Egrets,
Oystercatchers, Turnstones, Brent Geese, Curlew, Black-headed Gulls, a Grey Heron flying over and on the heath Wren , Stonechats.
Brent Geese
Looking left  over to the Purbecks
Looking out over the bay
View over the bay

It was a very nice afternoon and when the tide went ou,t the bay came alive with the sound of Curlew, Oystercatchers and other birds and I just sat there taking in all the sounds what a special place to just sit and listern and let the world go by.

Cetti's Warbler

Taken on the 10th November 2013
Cetti's Warbler
Taken along the river Allen Wimborme Dorset

Saturday, 9 November 2013


All hope is lost now I am becoming a twitcher as today I went to see a bird that as been reported at Brand's Bay the last couple of days. So with the weather wet dark and foreboding in my home town I set off on the 25 mile journey to find the weather there not as bad a bit blustery and chilly.
On arriving I asked a couple of birders if the bird was still about and they pointed me in the right direction to the bird and with a very distance view through my binoculars I found the bird a Surf Scoter, a lifer for me, but only at a distance, though the birder let me have a look through is scope and I had a better view of the bird thanks to this chap.

Walking towards Bramble bush bay I came across a group of 11 Oystercatchers, 10 Brent Geese, 3 Little Egrets, 1 Curlew, 2 Wigeon and another lifer Red- Breasted Merganser. So all in all not a bad first twitch.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Hartland Moor & Studland

31st October 2013,
Had a day off from work so  had a trip over to Hartland Moor with the hope of seeing some raptors.
Though the weather was not great with big dark grey clouds and a blustery wind and a heavy shower I did not hold much hope of seeing anything. A walk across the moor to Hart Hide accounted for some Meadow Pipits, Stone Chat. In the hide I sat a while looking out over the moor and scanning the sky only raptor was a Kestrel working the moor and to my far right were four Roe Deer, so after a while I decided to have a walk about and just out side in a large clump of heather and gorse I heard what I thought was a Dartford Warbler. I stood still and looked through the bins to locate the bird and sure enough out it popped on to the top for a brief moment before going back down low again.
On walking back to the car I saw a bird that looked like a Whinchat I got the Collins Bird Guide out to check to see if what I was looking at resemable the plate it did, though I am a bit concerned if it was, as the book states rarely in October could this of been a late leaver?

A heavy shower broke and I just made it back to the car and had some lunch and was trying to decide were to go next, with the heavy shower I made my mind up not to go down the track to Middlebere but instead to go and find Bramble Bay as I have not been there before. So with the rain pounding on the windscreen I made my way to Ferry Road and started to look for the bay. I ended up almost at the Toll for the ferry but stopped and turned round and parked up near a bus stop and crossed the road. I think this was part of South Haven. Out on the waters edge were Oystercatchers, a Curlew, Black-Head Gulls, Little Egrets, following the beach round to my left were more Oystercatchers, Curlew, Brent Geese and out on the water were lots of Great Crested Grebes and more gulls.

All in all not a bad afternoon birding and looking for places not been to before, must get myself a scope soon though as some of the birds were to far away for my bins and were just little specks on the sea.
List of birds seen today are
Meadow Pipit
Whinchat (possible)
Great Grested Grebe
Brent Geese
Black-Head Gulls
Litlle Egrets
Great Tit