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

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