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
Black-tailed Godwits
Wigeon – 20+
Redshank- 2
Pintail -2
Hen Harrier- Ring tail #
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
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.
Marsh Harrier
Yellow Wagtail
Mistle Thrush
Meadow Pipits
Common Whitethroat
Lesser Whitethroat = lifer
Spotted Flycatcher
Dartford Warbler

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

Old photo of Hart Hide

From Hart Hide

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

View from Hart Hide