Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Shore Road

Well that's it for this year my last trip (Except perhaps a walk along the river Allen) out to find some new birds. I went over to Whitley Bay Shore Road to see if I could catch up with the Sanderlings which I first saw this time last year.
Sanderling 

These birds breed in the high Arctic around Greenland, Arctic North America and fly at least 5,000km non stop according to my RSPB book  and should not be disturbed while feeding so they can obtain enough food to survive the winter and there long flights. Just wish some dog owners would read about these birds, as today while watching the Sanderlings, Bar-tailed Godwits and Oystercatchers from a distance through the scope one couple let their dog run out in to a group of Oystercatchers and Sanderlings sending them in to the air with alarm calls to wheel around and land a bit further out.

I was pleased to catch up with these tiny bird again as I like there frosty white, grey and black plumage and how they run about here and there searching for food. This little bird as now brought my list up to end the year on a 151 species seen in Dorset.

Old Photo of a Sandling Whitley Bay
I hope with the knowledge gained this year of were to find the different bird species I can better the list next year and on the 1st I hope to be out trying to reach a hundred in a day though I do not hold much hope in achieving that one. So I wish anyone that reads the blog a Happy New Year

Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit in the grass


Monday, 29 December 2014

Blackcaps

Tried to photograph the Blackcaps today in the garden as I had three coming to the feeders and chasing each other two males and a female , but failed as soon as I went out side the went over the fence only to return when I went back in side so gave up.
Garden list for today.

Blackcap - 3
Blackbirds -2
Starlings- 3
Robin -3
Wren -1
Blue Tit -2
Dunnock -2
Woodpigeon

It was interesting to watch the Blackcap chase each other and the Robin chase them and another Robin out of the garden.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Garden Bird Watch & then RSPB Arne

This morning I watched the birds in the garden for the BTO Garden Bird Watch Survey  , this is were I watch/monitor the bird species that use the garden through out the year. I do not get many different species in our garden though but what we do get as been interesting to watch, and one bird I look forward to seeing is the over wintering Blackcap which most likely come from central Europe.
They useal arrive by November (male) and by December (Female), the female usually chase away the male which as happened as I have not seen the male now since the 12th of December and first spotted the female on the 26th December, up date just seen the male Blackcap in the garden with the female. I have recorded Blackcaps returning to the garden from December 2nd 2012, here are a couple of pictures from January 2013 & March 2013.

Female Blackcap 19th January 2013


Male Blackcap 11th March 2013

After recording the birds went went over to Arne for the afternoon, it was very busy and did not see many birds as we went up to Shipstal view point through the wood and round the beach a cliff path,
though we did see a Raven,Kestrel,Shelduck, Teal, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Little Egret, Spoonbill, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tits and heard a Dartford Warbler.
On our way back through the wood we came across a couple of Sika Hinds and a Stag we were have great views of the Stag and get very close which would of given me a great oppertunaty to get a very good picture ( better than the one I got anyway) until some muppet managed to let their dog slip its lead ( how that happened I do not know)  which chased the stag which took flight not to be seen again!

View fronm Shipstal view point


View form the steps at Shipstal point

View from the steps

Sika Hind
Sika Stag, I converted one of the pictures to black & white  as i like the look of it.

Sika Stag Arne Wood

Stag marking it territory 
Stag Marking its tree Arne Wood

The Black and white shot of the same Stag.

Yes this is my Tre
















Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Walk

Took a walk along the river Allen after Christmas lunch just to see what was about and get some fresh air.
It seemed rather quiet on the bird front though I did spot one or two about from Mallards, Moorhens and Mute Swans and one bird that I always really like seeing along the river but never seem to be able to get a very good picture of it/them as they are always moving and bobbing their tail up and down and the bird is a Grey Wagtail. This is a picture of one of the birds I took last year.


Grey Wagtail R.Allen 2013


Walking further along the Allen I spotted a little Robin in a willow and with the late afternoon sun illuminating the twigs I thought it looked rather nice but when I took the picture it as not come out as good as it looked with the naked eye

Robin
The Mute Swan family is still about and their only surviving cygnet is starting to look more like it mum & dad, think it will not be long before they chase him/her away from the territory .

Mute Swan

Juvenile Mute Swan  told by retained brown feathers

Mute Swan
Moorhen
On the way back along the river I came across a Blackbird searching the fallen leaves  for food so took a couple of quick snaps and from on of the pictures I could tell ( I think if I read correctly) that this Blackbird is one of this year juvenile birds as it is still retaining some brown feathers at the Primary coverts and Secondaries

Male Blackbird showing retained brown feathers

Last one same Blackbird

Male Blackbird










Saturday, 13 December 2014

River Allen Walk

Due to a bad back sustained at work a few days ago and dosed up with codeine at did not feel like going far this week end so took a walk along the foot path of the river Allen  just across the road from home.
The Allen is a wonderful small chalk stream that is home to many species of fish, and is one of the last strong holds for our native  white clawed crayfish. Their is a wealth of wildlife along its banks and close to town if one just looks I have seen so many time people walking to town or their dogs and not realise what is round them like water voles Kingfishers and such creatures.

The R. Allen


I digress from my walk which really began on Friday after while I took a walk to the doctors to get my prescription  and this walk reminded me of how special this short walk can be with me seeing the following species
Mute Swans, Moorhens, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrushes, Blackbirds,Kingfisher, Long-tailed Tits with Blue Tits, Great Tits and a Goldcrest along with seeing a Great Spotted Woodpecker for the first time along the river path  and a Wren.
So with Saturday being a fine but chilly day  I headed across the road with my bins and camera with the hope of get some pictures and to see some nice birds

Pony near the farm track
Well I got see some good birds again but only managed a few shots along the way one bird I would of liked to get a shot of was just to quick at diving into cover not to be seen again. That was a Cetti's Warbler that I had a good view of through the bins but I was not quick enough with the camera.
To go along with the list of bird seen yesterday are as follows
Redwing, Mallards, two Stonechats in Pony field next to the farm track, Chaffinches, the Cetti's and a Buzzard sat on top of a telegraph pole  up bu Walford bridge.

Moorhen

Mute Swan


Saturday, 6 December 2014

A good week-end birding

After spending over an hour at the barbers with my son to get our hair cut it was a bit late to go over to the moors  so I spent some time in the garden trying to get a photo of the male Blackcap that as most likely come from centrel europe and decided to over winter in our and the surrounding gardens.
But as soon as stepping out in to the garden he went and sat in a bush not to move until I went back in side so no picture of him but did manage to get a couple of other garden birds.

Robin

Dunnock
So after a spot of lunch I head off to Longham Lakes as weather was very good and I hoped to get a picture of a Pochard, though I did see Pochard they were Just to far way .
Had a good walk round the lakes and saw a lot of birds these were the many Coots.Tufted Ducks, Mute Swans that always seem to be about and with them 10 Little Egrets the most I have seen there so far. Teal, Wigeon, Shovler Little Grebes,Grey Heron, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese two Green Woodpeckers and a Fox.

7th Dember 2014 and a Dorset Rarity
This day my son and I headed over to RSPB Arne, but on the way I stopped of at Slepe Heath to look for a couple of birds that got reported yesterday. So we made our way up the hill to the advantaged point to look over the moors and fields to see these birds which were Geese and these geese were Bean Geese(Tundra) there were a couple of folk up on the ridge and they pointed out the geese and I scoped a distance view of these Geese though the light was not brilliant I managed to see there orange legs and orange bill, short thick neck and rounded head and dark upper parts.
My 150th bird and mission achieved . While looking round we saw a Great White Egret, two Kestrels and a small herd of Sika Deer came running past no more than 20feet from use a great sight.

We then moved over to Arne and Coombe Heath were we had good views of Avocets possible a flock of about 300 and a large flock of Lapwing on the wing and Brent Geese so I looked for a raptor and soon found a Marsh Harrier working the reeds and creeks for prey.

Bean Geese (Tundra) # 150

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Heaths Moors and Lakes

Saturday 29th November
I was unable to get out early on Saturday due to family commitments and the weather looked great for birding. So after putting up the shelving that needed to be put up as I had been putting off to many times I soon found myself heading of to Arne and Coombe Heath to look for the a bird that was reported the day before, though I did not hold out much hope in finding it but it was a lovely late afternoon to be out any way. The bird I was looking for was a Great Grey Shrike but after spending some time searching the heath and scanning all of the tops of the pines I could only find a couple of Dartford Warbler and Meadow Pipits on the heath and some Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings, and a few ducks Wigeon, Shelduck, Teal and a couple of Pintail.

After this I moved of to a couple of Heaths close by to carry on searching for this bird but there was no sign of it any were, but the afternoon was not wasted as on one of these moors/heaths I watched some wonderful raptors these being a Kestrel, then a Marsh Harrier which was joined by another  quartering back and Fourth over the rough ground only to be joined by a ring tail Hen Harrier hunting near by a wonderful sight to watch
Sun set over the heath



Sunday 30th November  afternoon I took my son over to Longam Lakes for a walk round to see what we could find. We had a good walk round the lakes counter the birds though it was hard going counting the Coots which we managed to count circa 200 of them and c100 Tufted Duck

Coot
It was nice to see some Pochard on the fishing lake and Wigeon on the larger lake with  Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebes and lots of Cormorants sitting on the pylons with 5 Little Egrets resting on the island with a Grey Heron and a Grey Heron sat in a tree, two Green woodpecker were seen along the tree round the edge of lake

Male Tufted Duck


Female Duck
Just as we were get near the end of the walk and making our way back to the car park Daniel say whats that bird up there over the house got the bins on it and it was a Peregrine after some pigeons a cracking sight. Again Dan says whats that bird sitting on the telegraph pole near the entrance and what a lovely bird it was to and well spotted. I watched the bird for a while taking in all the features of a magnificent pale morph Buzzard .

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Search Continues

 Saturday 22nd November  I headed off to Sandbanks ferry not to travel across to Brands Bay as the ferry is closed for repair work but to look for the Long-tailed Duck that is hanging round the past few days but even though it was reported earlier in the day I had no luck with finding this species. How ever I did see  Red Breasted Mergansers, Brent Geese, Great Crested Grebe and Cormorants.

 So after an hour searching the water from the car park I head off to Hatch Pond were I found three male Pochard, Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks, Great Crested Grebes, a Grey Heron and best of all I found a small party of Common Snipe out on the cut reed bed I had wonderful views of 25+ birds feeding, preening and washing and some flying about.

As the weather seemed to be clearing here and it was late afternoon I text ed the wife to let her know I was going off somewhere to search for a Short-eared Owl. I set off and as I started to drive more inland the sky's got darker and it started raining again. I managed to find the location after taking the wrong turning to start with and I thought I was going to end up getting lost. I say I found the location but even though I was very near I still managed not to get to the car park. I found somewhere to park along the road and headed off down the bridle way and the area looked good for SEO with a lot of scrub and longish grass. Along the hedge there were lots of Fieldfare and flying about, a Buzzard sat on a fence post then down in the lower fields I saw something drifting low over the grass I managed to get the scope on it and it was a wonderful Short-eared Owl but not just one another one came into view and they flew by each other and had a little tussle then dropped down in to the grass. Then one took flight again and was being harassed by a crow. Even though they were only distance views it was great to see them flying about so gracefully so light and buoyant in the air.

Once again as I was leaving home the sky was dark and drizzly rain so I decided not to take the camera so no picture again for this blog and beside I was to far away to get even a half rubbish shot of the SEO but I do hope to goi back soon with camera in tow to get a picture of these wonderful owls.

Short-eared Owl # 149

Edit
Took my son over to see the Short-eared Owl this afternoon, it turned up about 3.30pm and I managed to grab a very poor record shot of the Owl going away from us and in to the sun.

Cropped image, record shot of Short-eared Owl

Saturday, 15 November 2014

A day at RSPB Arne and the surround areas

Spent the early morning at Arne with Birds of Poole Harbour  again on their monthly guided walk.
First thing we were hampered with low lying mist over the Middlebere channel but this soon cleared and we had wonderful weather, good light and no wind, ideal conditions.
Once again as I thought the weather was going to be raining and wet I did not take my camera and I should of done!
At the car park
Redwing
Treecreeper
Nuthatch
Cole Tit
Firecrest -heard only
Then out on to coombe heath  and the look out point
Fly over of Redwing and fieldfare
Wigeon
Teal
Lapwing
Little Egret
Brent Geese in the field
Avocets
Oystercatchers
Taken with phone through scope
After this we made our way to the little pond to cut trough grip heath but the path was flooded
but this was a good move to try as I had a new bird for the Dorset list.
Snipe # 144

So we made our way through the car park and down through Arne farm to the steps and Shipstal point
Here we had a mixed flock of Long tailed tits with Chiffchaff and at least 5 + Goldcrest.
Looking from the steps in to Arne bay a large group of Spoonbill c37
Two good views of Dartford Warbler singing.
From the view point and distances views out on the water
Great Crested Grebes
Red breasted Merganser
Black-necked Grebes
Goldeneye
Common Scoter
Velvet Scoter = Life # 145
After the walk had finished I went out to one of the moors /heaths to look for some more birds and a bird I have been looking for, for a while now. Looking out over Arne Moors from  a new position
Lapwings c200
Marsh Harrier 3
Lesser Redpoll # 146
Spotted Redshank # 147
Buzzard
Fieldfare and Redwing, distance views
I then took a walk along Soliders Road up to Knoll Farm to see if I could find the bird I need for the list after a bit of searching I found the bird with three Pheaseants, Two pied Wagtails on the barn and some Redwing.
Red-legged Partridge # 148




















Saturday, 8 November 2014

Out & about

Today I had the chance of getting out and searching for the last ten species for my 150 list for Dorset.
Though the weather was going to be very bad I still went but did not take my camera with so no picture for this blog today.

I started off by going to Hatch Pond a place I have driven past many many times but never thought of looking at the place for bird or wildfowl. Looks a great place to look for Bittern when it gets really cold lot of reeds for them and some nicely cut channels and clearings.
Any I went there to find a certain wildfowl which I did find after a little bit of searching, the bird was a Pochard which I have seen many times in Hampshire ( Blashford Lakes) but this is the first one I have seen in Dorset.

Birds at Hatch Pond.

Pochard # 141
Great Crested Grebes
Mute Swan
Coots
Moorhens
Gadwall
Mallards

After finding the Pochard and having a look round for later visit I made my way over to Baiter with the hope of catching up with some Ringed Plover. But had no luck with these as the weather turned really nasty with heavy rain and poor visibility. Just before the weather turned I had a walk along the front and I managed to see some nice birds out on the field.

Birds at Baiter

Sandwich Tern
Turnstones
Oystercatchers lots of them must have been 60 plus
Brent Geese 60 plus again
Pied Wagtail
It was quite a sight to see so many Oystercatchers and Brent Geese in one place.

I waited a little while for the heavy rain to subside as  it was very bad and like I said above the visibility was not good for driving. So after it had settled a bit I made the decision to drive over to Arne again with the hope of seeing another bird I wanted for my list I found  the bird though I had a little help from the warden and what a nice little bird to round they day off .

Birds at Arne
Blue Tits
Great Tits
Chaffinch
Nuthatch
Blackbird
Treecreeper
Meadow Pipits
Great Spotted Woodpecker
and the star of the show a lovely little bird
Firecrest # 142

8 more to find now before the end of the year.

Edit
9/11/14
Went out again this day over to Greenland's Farm and Brand's Bay and Middle Beach.
It was a good move to go to Gree land's as i was walking down the track I came across some Fieldfares which was great as this is a bird I wanted to catch up with since the being of the year and it gave me another tick for the year.

Greenland's, Farm
Fieldfare # 143
Goldcrest

Along the track leading to Brand's Bay Hide
Stonechat
Dartford Warbler heard calling
From the Hide
Goldeneye
Great crested Grebes
Litte Egrets
Lapwing
Sandwich Tern -3
Teal
Shelduck

After this I made my way to Middle Beach with the hope of seeing a Slavonian Grebe but not luck with that speciesoh well perhaps next time.
Though out in the bay were
Black-necked Grebe- 4
Brent Geese -10
On the way home I stopped at the view point on Ferry Road and there I spotted two Buzzards on the ground worming. Then on flew up on to a fence post and I had a good view of it s very pale creamy/off white belly and light brown chest band a lovely looking Buzzzard.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Two for the price of One

This afternoon (01/11/14) my son and I went over to Blashford lakes to see what was about as my son wanted to see if any new ducks had arrived for the winter. We parked at the Tern hide but found the hide quite rammed I expect veryone  was looking for the Franklins Gull?
So we decided to take a walk along the Dockens stream path and the cross the road and head towards the Lapwing hide.
The Dockens Water
As we walked along the path I was hoping to connect with a Firecrest but no luck with those though I thought I did here one. We crossed the road and on to the next path way were I found a Treecreeper working its way up a tree, then my son (Dan) says there is a Nuthatch as well on the next tree. Then a mixed tit flock appeared mostly Great Tits with some Blue Tits another Treecreeper and a Goldcrest.
After watching these for a little while as they worked there way through the trees we final made our way to the Lapwing hide.

At the this hide and this time of afternoon the bright light was toward us so this made scanning across the water difficult looking towards the Tern hide. Though not to bad directly in front of us and around the little point, here we found some Little Grebes a Great Crested Grebe some Wigeon lots of Coots and on the large grass bank to the left of the hide 24 Egyptian Geese, also lots of gulls fly about and no doubt a Franklin's among the somewhere. Then Dan says what are those two bird sitting in the grass at the edge of the water. He points me in the right  and I find the bird excatly were hes says I have a good look through the binoculars and tell him they are Snipe at this point I get the Collins Guide out and let Dan find the bird and confirm what we were looking at which he did very well.
Record shot of two Snipe Isbly water
As it was getting late in the afternoon and we had to get back for tea we made our way back along the path always listerning and watching for birds when I spotted a blue flash dart across one of the small lakes. I said to Dan as we make our way round we just might see a Kingfisher and sure enough as we got round the other side there perched low by the water there was the Kingfisher but just as I moved the camera up to my eye to get a shot it darted off again.
Some type of fungi along the Dockens stream path



Saturday, 25 October 2014

Longham Lakes

Had a good walk around the lakes this afternoon looking to what was about I am hoping that some Pochard will turn up but no luck with them, lots of Coot, Tufted Duck a few Great Crested Grebes and Little Grebes along with two Little Egrets abd three Grey Heron. Though the most interesting for me was the five Shoveler at the top end of the larger lake.
A view along one sied of the lake

Mute Swan reflection

Monday, 20 October 2014

An hour on the River Allen

Sunday afternoon I spent an hour walking along the river Allen and up along the farm track.
It was a bit breezy  and the was not much about along the farm track but high above the fields there were two Buzzards and a Kestrel . On the way back down the river I herd a couple of Chiffchaff so seached the trees and managed to find one of them high above.

Moorhen Reflection

Record shot of a Chiffchaff
Last suriving Cygent growen up now 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Brand's Bay & Middle Beach

I had booked on to the http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/ guided walk with  Paul Morton for Saturday 18th 2014. The day dawned dark and very wet when I left the house at 7am to meet Paul at Greenlands Farm layby for 8am . By the time I had got on to the Upton bypass the rain was hammering down and I was beinging to think perhaps the day was going to be a wash out.
Though I need not of worried as by the time I reached Wereham the weather had started to clear and as I drove along Ferry Road  the sun had started to come up give some very nice colour to the sky as I drove to the location.
When every one had arrived Paul suggested that we go off to Brand's Bay as the Great White Egret was out in the bay and some members had not seen the GWE. So off we set to the hide and sure enough the GWE was out in the bay along with Little Egrets some Great Crested Grebes .
After thwe had been there a while Pual suggested that instead of going up through Greenlands farm that were head over to Middle Beach to look for the Black-necked Grebe, As I have never been to Middle Beach before and the thought of possible being able to see a YBW I thought it was a very good idea.
So I followed the rest of the group not know which way it was from the layby to Middle Beach
it was only a very short drive to the car park.
This was a good move as at this location I added to new Species to my ever growing Dorset List and all lifers. Scanning the sea I spotted Brent Geese, Black-necked grebe and my first Common Scoter which was pointed of for me. After watching the sea a bit we headed off down to the scrubs to see if we could find any Firecrests but had no luck with these, but heard and found Goldcrests and among a mixed tit flock along with a good number of Chiffchaffs then a member of the group spotted a bird that had two yellow wing bars, this bird  turned out to be the Yellow- browed Warbler a lovely little bird not much bigger than a Goldcrest and not as big as a Chiffchaff, That would of been a great way to end the mornings walk but no it got a bit better for me after everyone said their goodbys and went on our way . I decided to go home the long way round as I like this way better than going over the ferry . Driving along I was thinking to myself should I drop down to Hartland Moor on the way home
When all of a sudden I noticed Paul at the view Point along Ferry Road that looks out across Godlingston Heath . Paul was waving me into to the layby and my first thought what has he seen
I pulled in  and open the window and Paul tells me that a bird I have wanted to see for a long time was out in the field just below, the bird in question was a lovely Ring Ouzel so a had a good luck through Paul's scope as I packed mine away  after looking through the scope I got my bins and watched the bird for a while before it flew off to the right in to some scrub a great way to end the morning.

New birds for the list

138 - Common Scoter # Lifer
139 - Yellow-browed Warbler # Lifer
140 - Ring Ouzel # Lifer

Other birds seen
Great White Egret
Great Crested Grebes
Brent Geese
Black-necked Grebes
Pintail
Meadow Pipits
Grey Heron
Red Wing
Pied Wagtils
Skylark
Blackbirds
Blue Tits
Cole Tit
Great Tits
Goldcrest
Long-tailed Tits
Chiffchaff

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Brand's Bay again

Had lot of chores to do to day like  doing water changes on my fish tanks and then shooting off to B&Q for a new shower head and lead as the old one broke. Though this turned out good as it gave me the opportunity to nip over to Brand's bay again for the afternoon and hopefully to catch up with the Grey Plover  (these would be a lifer and a new bird for the Dorset list,) and Osprey and perhaps get some pictures. There was no sign of the Osprey but the Great White Egret was there again and it is a lovely bird. Scan the bay for the Plovers I spotted lots of Black- tailed Godwits, Wigeon, Teal, a Pintail, lapwings, Little Egrets, Redshanks and finally I found the bird I was looking for a lovely fresh looking Grey Plover These birds must look stunning in there breeding plumage one day I might get to see one in that plumage.

Record shot of Grey Plover
Heavy crop of a record shot - Grey Plover

137 Grey Plover #

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Little Sea & Brand's Bay

Had a great afternoon birding at Little Sea and Brand’s Bay then back again to Little Sea on the way back to the car.
I started at Little Sea to look for the GWE but he was not there so after counting the Little Egrets that were roosting in some dead trees I moved off to Brand’s Bay Hide.
At Little Sea
Little Egrets – 10
Grey Heron – 1
Cormorants – 5
Great Black-backed Gull -2
Over at the hide I got myself settled and started scanning the many Little Egrets that were about for the GWE. Then over at the back of the bay to the left a little I spotted what I thought was the bird in a creek (there was a large gorse bush left of the creek and what looked like what was left of a rotten boat) So I watched the bird and sure enough I saw its yellowish/orange bill then it flew a bit closer to the middle island/ marshy grass area were the Little Egrets were and this really confirmed that it was the GWE.
At this point someone in a canoe paddle past the hide and up the creek to the left, I tried to get on to Yahoo but was not getting a very good signal then the canoeist came back down the creek but a lot closer to this Island/ marshy grass area the bird flew off to the back of the bay near some dead trees and what looked like some brown reed/rush. At this point because I was struggling with a signal I went out the hide and texted Paul to see if he would put the news out on O&A,  but on going back in to the hide the bird had disappeared.
So the birds seen from the Hide were
Little Egrets – 18
Great White Egret #
Great Crested Grebes - 20
Curlew
Black-tailed Godwits
Wigeon – 20+
Redshank- 2
Pintail -2
Hen Harrier- Ring tail #
Osprey
And best of all for me was watching the Hen Harrier quartering the marsh and fields at the back of the bay. Then watching an Osprey flying over the top of Goathorn Plantation with a fish in it talons and land in one of the almost dead trees at back of the bay and tearing in to its super pure magic.

But the magic was not over after all this I made the decision to go back to Little Sea as I heard that the GWE was in the dead trees. And sure enough it was there, though I am going to name this bird Houdini (if it has not been already) as once again I texted Paul to let him know it was on Little Sea at 16.00 hrs.  But once again the gulls and others birds took to the air though the GWE stayed put so I began to look for what had put the bird ups and there it was a Osprey mostly likely the one from Brand’s as it had very pale fringing to its mantle and coverts just like the one I had seen earlier I watched plunge dive in to the lake and it seemed ages before it reappeared and flew round the lake before land in a dead tree and in this time the GWE disappeared again.

The GWE and the Hen Harrier put my Dorset list now up to a 136
The year list is up to 137 as I have seen one more in Hampshire I have not seen yet in Dorset and that is a Pochard

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Portland Bill

On the 14th September I made my way to Portland Bill for the first time with the hope of seeing a Little Owl but this was not to be as I did not find him. I found the place to be very busy which is not surprising for a Sunday morning but I still enjoyed doing a bit of sea watching and on the day I had three more additions to my list and they were lifers to boot. Though I did miss a Short-eared Owl getting flushed by a couple of Kestrels by minutes, now this is a bird I would love to see in Dorset.
So this is the list it is only a short list for the area as I just walked about here and there not knowing were to go really.

Gannets # lifer
Shag # lifer
Rock Pipit # lifer
Pied Wagtails
Meadow Pipits
Kestrel-2
Northern Wheatear

So not to bad a list for a couple of hours wandering about and sitting have some lunch by the Obelisk
I will be going back though one day soon.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Longham Lakes

13th September 2014, I had an hours walk round the South lake to see if I could find the Black-necked Grebe that had recently turned up. After walking all the way round the lake stopping occasionally to look at Little Grebes and Tufted Ducks that were out on the lake with the hope I would spot the Black-necked Grebe among them.While I was in the process of doing this I heard a louad droning noise come towards the lake high up, looking up I saw a large plane which turned out to be the Lancaster bomber during the Bournmouth Air Show I was having a walk round the lake with my son when we saw the British Lancaster and two Spitefires fly over which was very nice but did not have my camera but this I did and managed to get a picture of this plane which turned out to be the Canadian Lancaster.

Canadian Lancaster Bomber
But I am digessing from my main purpose of the walk to find the Grebe so having walk all the way round and almost back to were I stared I spotted the Grebe feeding just off somes boueys by the island and through the scope I had wonderful views of this grebe taking fly of the surface of the lake and diving for food. Warning Just a record shot as he was just a little bit to far off for my 300mm Tamron lens

Black-necked Grebe

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Bringing the Blog back to life

I have decide to try and bring the Blog back to life and up dated. As most of my bird watching was/is centred around Dorset, as I am trying to achieve 150 bird species seen only in Dorset this year.  I am going to put up my list far and start the blog again from  dairy reports I made from February 16th 2014, and go from their to the present .
So the List so far these are all birds seen only in Dorset. These are not in the order as I have seen them as I have tried to put them in Species order.

1.       Mute Swan
2.       Greylag Goose
3.       Canada Goose
4.       Brent Goose
5.       Egyptian Goose
6.       Shelduck
7.       Mandarin Duck
8.       Wigeon
9.       Gadwall
10.   Teal
11.   Mallard
12.   Pintail
13.   Garganey = Lifer
14.   Northern Shovler
15.   Tufted Duck
16.   Surf Scoter
17.   Common Goldeneye
18.   Red- breasted Merganser
19.   Pheasant
20.   Great Northern Diver
21.   Northern Fulmar=Lifer
22.   Little Grebe
23.   Great Crested Grebe
24.   Black-necked Grebe
25.   Spoonbill
26.   Grey Heron
27.   Little Egret
28.   Cormorant
29.   Short-toed Eagle=lifer
30.   Marsh Harrier
31.   Sparrowhawk
32.   Common Buzzard
33.   Osprey = Lifer
34.   Kestrel
35.   Hobby
36.   Peregrine
37.   Water Rail
38.   Moorhen
39.   Coot
40.   Oystercatcher
41.   Avocet
42.   Northern Lapwing
43.   Dunlin
44.   Black-tailed Godwit
45.   Bar-tailed Godwit
46.   Eurasian Whimbrel
47.   Eurasian Curlew
48.   Common Sandpiper
49.   Green Sandpiper
50.   Greenshank
51.   Common Redshank
52.   Turnstone
53.   Black-headed Gull
54.   Mediterranean Gull
55.   Common Gull
56.   Lesser Black-backed Gull
57.   Herring Gull
58.   Yellow-legged Gull
59.   Great Black-backed Gull
60.   Sandwich Tern
61.   Common Tern
62.   Common Guillemot
63.   Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon
64.   Stock Dove
65.   Woodpigeon
66.   Collard Dove
67.   Common Cuckoo
68.   Barn Owl
69.   Tawny Owl
70.   European Nightjar = Lifer
71.   Common Swift
72.   Kingfisher
73.   Green Woodpecker
74.   Great Spotted Woodpecker
75.   Magpie
76.   Jay
77.   Jackdaw
78.   Rook
79.   Carrion Crow
80.   Raven
81.   Blue Tit
82.   Great Tit
83.   Coal Tit
84.   Marsh Tit = Lifer
85.   Woodlark
86.   Skylark
87.   Sand Martin
88.   Swallow
89.   House Martin
90.   Cetti’s Warbler
91.   Long-tailed Tit
92.   Common Chiffchaff
93.   Willow Warbler
94.   Sedge Warbler
95.   Reed Warbler
96.   Blackcap
97.   Garden Warbler
98.   Lesser Whitethroat = Lifer
99.   Common Whitethroat
100.                        Dartford Warbler
101.                        Goldcrest
102.                        Wren
103.                        Nuthatch
104.                        Treecreeper
105.                        Starling
106.                        Blackbird
107.                        Song Thrush
108.                        Redwing
109.                        Mistle Thrush
110.                        Spotted Flycatcher
111.                        Robin
112.                        Whinchat
113.                        European Stonechat
114.                        Northern Wheatear
115.                        Dunnock
116.                        House Sparrow
117.                        Grey Wagtail
118.                        Pied Wagtail
119.                        Tree Pipit = Lifer
120.                        Meadow Pipit
121.                        Yellow Wagtail
122.                        Chaffinch
123.                        Greenfinch
124.                        Goldfinch
125.                        Siskin
126.                        Linnet
127.                        Common Crossbill
128.                        Bullfinch
129.                        Yellowhammer
130.                        Reed Bunting
131.                        Corn Bunting = Lifer




Saturday, 6 September 2014

Middlebere & Hartland Moor

6th September saw me heading of at 7.00am towards  my destination of Middlebere for a guided walk with Birds of Poole Harbour. If you have never been on one of BOPH guided walks I can thoroughly recommend them as Paul Morton centerly knows is birds, songs and calls of many species and I have learnt a lot about the songs and calls which as helped me find some of my recent additions to my list from going on these walks. I did not get any pictures of the day but have some old ones I took a while back.
It was a very good mornings walk with Linnets, Robins seen while standing in the car park and just before we set off on the walk  I spotted a wonderful Marsh Harrier gliding effortlessly across some reeds with the early morning light catching the head and glowing like gold and contrasting with its very dark brown plumage, going left to right towards the gate and cattle grid at the entrance to Hartland a awesome sight and a great start to the day.
Birds seen on the walk.
Linnets
Robins
Marsh Harrier
Sparrowhawk
Yellow Wagtail
Goldfinch
Mistle Thrush
Meadow Pipits
Blackcap
Common Whitethroat
Lesser Whitethroat = lifer
Wren
Dunnock
Bullfinch
Spotted Flycatcher
Jay
Dartford Warbler

Seen from Middlebere Hide
Osprey
Green Sandpiper
Grey Heron
Little Egrets
Shelduck
Black- headed Gulls
Yellow-legged Gull
Greenshanks
After this walk had finished I went over to Hart Hide then nipped over to Arne

Old photo of Hart Hide


From Hart Hide
Stonechats
Whinchats

From the viewing Screen at Coombe Heath Arne
Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit
Ostercatcher

View from Hart Hide













Sunday, 22 June 2014

Badbury Rings & The Oaks

Had a great sunny and warm afternoon walk with my son round the rings and the Oak wood looking for birds. The first bird we spotted was a Corn Bunting but silly me I was so ingrossed  at look at all the features and writing these down I completely forgot that I had my camera and did not think about taking a piture of the bird .
The list of birds we spotted were.
Corn Bunting #
Skylark
Yellowhammer
Blue Tit
Wren
Blackbird
Spotted Flycatcher
Kestrels - 3
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Stock Dove
Buzzard
Common Whitethroat
Goldfinch
Linnet
Jackdaw
Rook
Jay
Robin
Barn Swallow
and a Nuthatch calling
Robin - BadburyRings

Spotted Flycatcher -  The Oaks