Friday, 30 December 2016

June to December 2016

The following is the last of the highlight up dates  of my patch birding and lifers


No doubt about it the outstanding highlight of this month for me was see the Great Spotted Cuckoo in Reap Lane at Portland.
My 1st Great Spotted Cuckoo


This months highlight was finding a Hobby at Longham Lakes, it was a sight to watch as he went after the Martins and at one point made a dash at one of the Swifts. Such awesome speed and agility these birds have, the shot below is of a Hobby I took on one of the local heaths last year.



There can only be one highlight for August my very first Curlew Sandpipers, last year I looked and looked through all the Dunlin  hoping to find one at Lytchett Fields. So when I heard that some had turned up, I went off in search of them but did not expect to find six of them on the small pool just before the view point. These are wonderful birds looking elegant among the Dunlin.

My 1st Curlew Sandpipers


This month saw me tick off two new lifers at each of my sites the first was on the 4th with my 1st Little Gull hawking over the South lake at Longham Lakes at smart immature bird just floating about with ease and gracefully. Then my second later on in the month resting on the water in a very stiff breeze. I watched for a while as the bird got pushed close to the bank of the north west corner. Then take off and fly towards the island it did this several times while I watched such a small and beautiful gull.
Then next lifer was on the 18th, on this day I had a call from a friend to say that a Lesser Yellowlegs was down on Lytchett Fields and would I like a lift as he was going down. Of course I said yes as I had never seen a Lesser Yellowlegs. When we got down the the light was not very good with the sun shining in front making the viewing difficult, but there were a few people there that helped point us in the right direction. Even with the directions I was still having trouble locating the bird until Terry Elborn pointed the bird but I still did not see it until it moved out of the group of Redshanks and Black-tailed Godwits and I could pick up it long yellow legs. Since then I have found it myself and it is a very smart looking bird.
Poor record of my 1st/2nd Little Gull


Well what can be said about these two months they were bloody hard on the patches with several visits to the sites it was hard to come up with new birds though I did have a couple which I should of ticked earlier in the year these being a Bullfinch -18th November and a site first for me with a Great White Egret on the 29th November at Longham Lakes. At Lytchett I only recorded a Firecrest and a Coal Tit  on the 18th October. With 8 birding days in October and with 5 days in November, that was the extent of my birding in these two months.
Phone scoped Great White Egret & Little Egret


Surprisingly this as been a very good month with some nice birding days had and some site firsts and a couple of lifers to boot.
It as been great to be able to get very close views of the 3 long staying Great White Egrets ( hope they are still there on the 1st) The first site 1st for me and it was a site 1st was a Little Stint, which made a bit of a stir when it first appeared as at first one thought was it a possible White -rumped Sandpiper, the next thought was it a possible Red-necked Stint, but after a number of local birders went to see the bird the consensus was a Little Stint. Having never seen any of those bird mentioned above I would not  know anyway, but the bird to me looked like a Little Stint. I did get a good look through scope one when it was next to a pied wagtail  it was a very small bird as it was not much bigger than this species. I tried to get a picture but as the bird was really tiny and at a distance they did not come out very well, in the picture below you can just about make out the bird at the base of the Cormorant.

A very bad record shot of a 1st site Little Stint

Next lifer and another site for me was on the 2nd after seeing the Stint on the 1st with three Water Rail which was also a sight first. The was my first Jack Snipe which is a lovely little snipe it was very nice to watch it feeding along the shore line bobbing nervously up and down as it feed. Just as I thought wow my 1st Jack Snipe another four appeared out of the reed stems on the shore line.
My 1st Jack Snipe

But the patch at Longham was not finished yet and by the 29th I had two new more site first with a Redshank and a fly over of two Raven. I will finish the year with 95 species seen at Longham as I can not see me back there before the 1st of January 2017 were I will be out starting all over again with the hope of achieving the 100 mark.

I had not finished with Lytchett though as reports kept coming in on the long stay Lesser Yellowlegs and a Green-winged Teal. So off I went to look for the G W Teal as this would be a new lifer for me, having spent most of the afternoon of the 26th looking through approximately c200 Teal the Green -winged eluded me.Though I did have a very pleasant afternoon watching all the Dunlin, Lapwings, Teal and a nice Spotted Redshank.
Spotted Redshank

As I did not see the Green -winged Teal on the 26th afternoon seeing news on Twitter that the bird was showing well I headed off down there again on the 27th it took me a little while but I eventually found the bird over on the far pools viewing from the new viewing mound at the Sherford view point.
After this I went to look over French's Pool for the Lesser Yellowlegs which was way over at the back of the field.
Record Shot of my 1st Green-winged Teal

I followed this up with a look over Black Piper bay were I meet up with another Patch Watcher and local birder Shaun Robson, While here I had another site first with some Brent Geese and some Common Gulls which were at a distance and Shaun helped me identify them giving some great points on gull species which I will put to good use looking for my first Ring-billed Gull next year.
The Lesser Yellowlegs came over from the fields and I had some good view though at a distance which was great for IDing the jizz of the bird as it feed and to see it feeding with Redshanks which showed how slender looking and neater bird over all compared to the Redshank.
I have end up with seeing a 119 species this year at Lytchett Fields and there was some very special bird seen at this site which alone this as given me 6 new birds and Dorset first for me with Little Ringed Plover as the first on I saw was at Blashford Lakes in Hampshire.

So that is the end of this blog for 2016, not sure I will keep it going in 2017?
2016 was a good birding year for me so I must thank everyone I have meet and helped me this year in one way or another with get to see the birds and helping with some identification point THANK YOU All and hope you have a bird filled New Year.

Here are some pictures I took along the way and more of the long staying Egrets.
Sika Stag Lytchett

Looking across Sherford Pools

Watching a Wheatear in French's Field

Dragonfly North Lake Longham

G W Egret North Lake Longham

Motion blurr, Grey Wagtail South settling Pool Longham

Two of the three G W Egrets Longham Lakes

North Lake Longhsam

South Lake Longham

South Lake Longham

Sunday, 25 December 2016

A look back at 2016 and the highlights

This post is a review of my birding and Patch Watching at Longham Lakes and Lytchett Fields.
As you will see at the start of January 2016 I started a Patch Work Challenge for the two sites mentioned above but as the challenge progressed I picked a target of see a hundred species for each site. This I achieved for the Lytchett Fields patch, but only managed 94 species for the Longham Patch as I do not think I will see another six species before the years is out.
I have really enjoyed doing the challenge as it as made me focus on the sounds and ID features of the birds and along the way I have had some very nice lifers on and off the patches and site first.


Had 6 birding days this month and though no new lifers all the bird spotted were new for the year.
I record 29 species on the 1st at Longham Lakes which was not a bad start, it will be interesting to see how many I see at the start of January 2017.
In contrast at the Lytchett Fields patch on the 3rd I recorded 38 species,though this being estuarine with fields pools and well hedged lanes on the way down to the watch points gives a better scope for more species.
All in all not a bad start to the year and the highlight of the month was a Peregrine
A very poor phone scoped shot of a Peregrine


Had 8 birding days this month between Longham and Lyt
chett, like last month most of it was wet and windy at times,though the birding was good with the usual species for both the sites.
One of the birds I do like to see and also seem to have trouble getting a decent picture of is the Bullfinch
Record shot of the Bullfinch

Watching over Sherford Pools Lytchett.


March was a great month for me with two cracking lifers and site firsts at Longham Lakes and Lytchett Fields.
The first, site 1st was at Longham with 16 Black -tailed Godwits which was a very nice find after 4 hours patch watcning between Lytchett and Longham on the 4th & 5th.
But the best was to come in the next few days as on the 13th ( my wife's birthday) I was walking down the lane at Lytchett towards the fields when I heard a bird call and sound I had not heard before it was a bit like someone squeezing a squeaky dog toy fast. So I looked up at the oak I was standing next to and to my surprise and my word at the the time OMG, I had not only found a lifer but also my site first , I have been hoping to see one for such a long time. It was only a wonderful male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker what a find I was so excited and at the same time I could not believe how small the bird was for a woodpecker, I had read in field guides they were not much bigger than a sparrow, but to see one so close you realise how small these birds are for real.
Male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

What a bird the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is
Then on the 16th I went on a local twitch to see a like Siberian sprit over at Portesham
the sprit was a lovely looking Palla's Warbler.
This little bird  spent at last four maybe five weeks in Dorset so as most likely wintered here for a while. It will not be long be until it takes off on its long flight of 5,000 Km to its breeding grounds.
The photo does not do the bird justice it was a lovely looking bird with a yellow median crown stripe, yellow supercilium and black eye stripe. Two yellow wing bars and a primrose yellow rump with white under parts, just lovely to watch. The bird is only 9-10cm long and about 4-7 grams in weight, it breeds in Siberia, through Northern Mongolia to Northeastern China and winters in subtropical China and in parts of Asia . What a bird and a new lifer
Record Shot of a Palla's Warbler

Palla's Warbler Portesham
I end the month with
63 species for Longham Lakes
76 species for Lytchett Fields
and these two cracking Lifers Lesser Spotted Wood and Palla's Warbler


April seemed a very quite month for birds if my memory serves me right. though I did have a couple of trips over to Corfe Castle to find and listen to one of my favourite song birds the Nightingale
Corfe Castle

After seeing and listing to the Nightingale which is a lovely song so many verses, I watch one of the first spring Wheatears and Whinchats that arrived on a wonderful spring but windy and chilly morning.
Spring Wheatear


What a month May was with two mega lifers for me and again site first for me at both my Patch Work Challenge sites. My first trip of the month was down to one of my favourite places Lytchett Fields were I had six site first for myself and one of the birds was only a third for the site.
One was a wonderful Bar-tailed Godwit in full breeding plumage a stunning bird.
A stunning close view of a Yellow Wagtail
and a site third with a Sanderling.
But May was going to get much better when local patchers watchers found a Black Winged Stilt and a Glossy Ibis birds I very much wanted to see having missed them the last time they appeared in Dorset, but I was stuck at work when I found out about the birds. The afternoon seemed to drag on and on while at work and I kept think hope the bird as not moved on this is the link to the post I made about the trip
Though I did not have good luck through as one late afternoon walk round Longham Lakes I missed for me a very special site first as I rush past some fench post on the last leg a round the lake as I was getting late to be home at the stated time. The bird was ONLY a Nightjar what a bird to miss sitting out in the open.
I will leave off now for a while and will up date again soon.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Longham Lakes

On a damp dank grey afternoon like today I went to Longham Lakes to see if i could locate the Water Pipit .
There is something about patch watching and Longham  which drives me on and on with the hope of finding new birds and one day to find something special.
So again I have signed up to Patch Work Challenge 2017 for Longham and Lytchett Fields, and as much as I like Lytchett I am going to be spending more time at Longham hopefully but will still visit Lytchett.
Any way to the birds seen this afternoon, I arrived at 12.50 to a cacophony of noise as 77 Canada Geese and 2 Greylags made for Hampreston Fields, a party of 19 Cormorants discussing their days fishing and the piglet like squeal of Water Rail rolling across north lake and another ear blast of one right by the north west corner of South Lake. Combined with all the wildfowl and passerines but no Water Pipits made the grey afternoon a pleasant walk round the lake.
The high lights
Shoveler – 11
Pochard – 18
Teal- 13 but no green winged thoughSad smile
Great White Egret – 3
Grey Wagtail – 2
lots of Tuftys and Gadwall
Water Rail – 2
plus a good sporting cast of passerines
Phone Scoped Great White Egret and Little Egret.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Cattle Egrets

This afternoon after doing 50% water change on my 240 litre fish tank and cleaning the external filter.
I headed of to a little village that I had never heard of until recently to catch up with some Cattle Egrets that have been showing particularly well and pretty close. So I typed the location in to Google Maps on my phone and headed of late afternoon, after taking a wrong turn and going round in a full circle I finally found the field the birds were in and got my very first sighting of Cattle Egret but not just one it was five of them feeding all together with two Little Egrets. Delightful birds to watch as they walked about the field looking for worms and stuff to eat.
Buzzard watching over the Egrets

Posing Cattle Egret

One of the five Cattle Egrets feeding

Sunday, 23 October 2016

A Birding Weekend 21st to 23rd October

The birding weekend started on Friday afternoon with a trip to Longham Lakes on the way home from work.It was a very pleasant walk round the south lake, despite 16 swans being on the lake try as I might I could not turn any one of them in to a Whooper ( as the day before a Whooper Swan had been seen in Lytchett Bay) they were all Mute Swans one day I just have to hope. On and round the large island were 6 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, 42 Tufted Duck spread across the two lakes, a Little Egret, 12 Lapwing a Grey Heron and 2 Snipe. Out on the water c86 Coot , 15 Little Grebe, 7 Great Crested Grebe, 64 Herring Gull, 42 Black-headed Gull. Also 1 Cetti’s Warbler and 2 Grey Wagtails, and 5 Common Buzzard circling high over the lakes in the blue sky.  I was hoping to locate a Yellow Browed Warbler its only got a be a matter of time before I see one, Still stuck at 88 species for the site.
Saturday 22nd, Saw me getting up early on a foggy/misty morning to make my way over to Studland and Greenlands Farm to meet up with Paul Morton of Birds of Poole Harbour for one of is monthly walks. I have learnt a lot by attending Paul's especially about bird songs/ contact calls and about migratery bird movement and the calls they give while on the move. One of my best books I got from Paul while attending Hen Harrier Day this year at RSPB Arne was Catching the Bug it as two CDs on bird songs and contact calls recorded mostly from a round the harbour. A book well worth getting if trying to learn about the songs of birds.
Anyway on to the walk, the group set off a 8.00am down the track in quite a biting north easterly wind, the first birds we heard singing were two Robins while waiting for a late attender to catch up. While waiting we watched the sky for any movement and sure enough there was a little with a group of 7 Redwing flying in to the wind followed by another flock with 10/15 or so in a tighter flock than the first my first Redwings of this Autumn/Winter, 2 Song Thrush and  Blackbird that were flying high so must of been migrating or just local migration perhaps? We carried on up through the field when everybody had caught up and watched a few Meadow Pipits moving through, a Buzzard came and landed on the barn roof. It was here while watching the buzzard that some asked what were the birds in top of a hawthorn. We got the scopes on to them and in the hawthorn were 2 Blackbirds which we hoped might of been Ring Ouzel as that was one of the birds we were all hoping to find. Also though there were 7 Fieldfare in total though I only saw 4 another of this Autumns/Winters first sighting.
Soon after this we made our way to the Brands Bay hide,  were we watched the usual fare of Teal, Wigeon, Egrets, Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew some Turnstones and Dunlin along with 2 new birds for one of the group with Pintail ( these are lovely ducks) and a Grey Pover. After watching Stonechats and a Dartford Warbler along the route.
After this we all went to Middle Beach to see if any Black-necked Grebe had arrived, after a bit of searching the choppy sea 10 Black-necked Grebe were found, some Brent Geese. It was while watching these I had a new lifer and a bit of a suprise with a fly pass of 7 Ringed necked Parkeets,I have known there were suposed to be in the area but having been over there nurmess times and had never seen any I was being to give up on seeing them in Dorset.
  To round of a very pleasant walk with the group I headed of to Lytchett Fields to see if I could relocate ( even though I have already seen the bird) the Lesser Yellow Legs. On my way down the lane I heard the calls of a Goldcrest so I started scanning the holly were I though the sounds were coming from and sure enough a Goldcrest but not just one but 2 and a bird I have been hoping to catch up here and also at Longham was a smart looking Firecrest.
By now as I got to the view pionts the light was not very good as I was viewing in to the sun, but managede to find Teal, Lapwing, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin and Redshank but no Lesser Yellow Legs.

The things I see when I walk down the lane

Sunday 23rd,
I went to Longham lakes again with my son I was hoping to catch up with a Yellow browed Warbler but with the wind as it so it is not surprising I did not hear or see one. While scanning the island a Cetti's Warbler was calling from the willow scrub along the coarse way, and on the east side of the island there was not much exposed gravel as the water level was up again. There was the useual fare out on the water, 64 Tufted Duck, 180 Coot, 6 Gadwall,8 Shoveler, 15 Great Crested Grebes, 14 Little Grebes, 2 Grey Heron, Little Egret and 1 Kingfisher, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Green Woodpecker, 3 Meadow Pipit and a Snipe that was tucked up on the edge of  the large island.
It was also nice to meet my fellow rival Darren Jones who also is doing the Patch Work Challenge we have always seemed to miss each other when out doing the patch work challenge at Longham. his blog is

Green Woodpecker

Saturday, 8 October 2016

A Search for Yellow-browed Warbler

This morning I went in search of a Yellow browed Warbler with so many being recorded in the country and some in Dorset, I thought surely one would be at Longham Lakes.
Even though I worked the patch hard from 10.25 until 14.25 I could not find a Yellow browed Warbler, I thought my luck was in when I found a flock of 12 Long-tailed Tits but all I could find with them were 2 Blue Tits and a Chiffchaff, later on I found another small LTT flock consisting of 6 birds with these there were two Great Tits and Chiffchaff again.
On the large Island I found 5 Little Egrets,15 Lapwing, 3 Snipe and one Grey Heron, on the water round the island there were 15 Shoveler ( the first of the autumn/winter? ) a 1st/2nd winter Common Gull, 6 Gadwall, 2 Teal. 14 Great Crested Grebes spread across the two lakes and 8 little Grebes, while watching a Buzzard, 12 Swallows came over high and moving fast with purpose heading south then late three Swallows hawking across the lake. Also had 4 Jays fly over a Kingfisher was flying up and down the lake fishing from the small jetty on the east side of the large lake, 2 Grey Wagtails up on the South Pools.
and 6 Meadow pipits seen and a few finch sp flying high over the lake heading south.
Some of the willows along the coarse way have been cut down which helps give very good views of the island, I hope they are not planning on cut them all back or down all in all a very nice morning/day at the lakes. The search continues
1st/2nd winter Common Gull
Grey Wagtail

Poor record shot of Grey Wagtail flight
 Phone Scoped Green Woodpecker

Sunday, 11 September 2016

A week end at Longham Lakes

Saturday 10th 
I was out at Longham Lakes in afternoon hoping for an another Little Gull as I enjoyed watching the one on the 4th, but it was not to be with a lot of disturbance on the lake, with canoeist all over the place by the slip up by the pump house on south and most of the birds pushed up to the south end of the lake. So I gad ago at counting the bird that were on the two lakes.
Also there is a wasp nest in the bank leading up the path from the metal gate.
Across the two lakes I mad the following counts.
Mute Swan-11
Gadwall –2
Mallard – 5
Tufted Duck - 74
Little Grebe – 21
Great Crested Grebe – 23
Grey Heron – 1
Coot – 157
Lapwing – 12
Green Woodpecker – 2
Swallow – c50
 Herring Gull - 12
Black headed Gull - c20
Cormorant - 9

Sunday 11th
I was back at the lakes again this time with son , which was a nice sunny afternoon, but on arriving my haert sank a little as the canoiest were back on the lake with the model yacht enthusists 
and a quick look across the lakes there did not seem much about.
Once again I started to count the birds on the North Lake starting with Great Crested Grebes - 16 then asked my son to have ago at counting the Tufted Ducks as he likes these ducks, he came up with a count of 25 which was a good count but just to check I counted them myself  and got 34. From here we went up to the shire horse field as he likes look at the horses. In this field I found a Stonechat but nothing else I was hoping for a Whinchat, so it was back to South Lake and the North West Corner of the lake to start counting the Tufted Duck here but I only got to 15 when a gull came and settled on the water. I caught a glimps of some black patterning across the wings and back and thought can it be, so I quickly panned the scope on it and watched I took in as much detail as I could with the bird just drifting across towards the sedge in the North West Corner. With only seeing my first of this species on the 4th September flying I needed to see this bird fly to just confirm what I was thinking and sure after waiting what seemed like an age the eventually was pushed in to the sedge and lifted and flew towards the island and settled again but still being pushed back nortwards . I was correct in my assement that it was my second juvenile Little Gull of the month/year. They are wonderful danity bouayant gulls with smart black W across the wings and mantle  a black tail-band,Black crown and large ear spot
Record capture of Little Gull a very cropped image

Monday, 5 September 2016

A evening at Longham Lakes

Sunday 4th September.
Went over to Longham lakes this evening just to see what was about but did not expect to get stopped in my tracks.
I started to scan the Island from the slip way were I found 16 Lapwing then started to look across the lake then what’s that flying across the lake
I get the scope on it and it is a gull , a gull with a Black W going from one wing across the mantle and long the other wing I watch and it as a very buoyant flight  low over the water taking what I presume are flies of the surface. So I make my way round as fast as I could to the west side almost up to the small island to get a better view . I wondered what it was at first a Little Gull or Kittiwake, my first thought though was of Little Gull as it was smaller than the black head gulls, so I made a phone call to Paul for some advice  but I missed is return call. I made more note so I could check with my books when I got home. As the gate was going to shut at 7.30pm by the clock and it was 7.00pm now I though I better get a move on before the gate shut. To my horror when I got back to the car the gate was shut! but luckily the person you locked the gate was waiting for me. Told me it was a private car park, showed my permit and told it is only 7. 10 now only to be told they shut the gate about 7.00 to 7.15 so I should watch the time! But it was great to watch my first Little gull checked all my books and that what it was  brilliant. I tried in vain to get some pictures with my phone through the scope but it was impossible. This Little Gull now put my species list up to 87 for the sight and a point score of 94 for the Patch Work Challenge.

Little Gull

Monday, 29 August 2016

August at Longham

29th August 2016

Had a early mornings walk well not that early only from 9.00am to 12.00pm, I am struggling to come up with anything new for the sight with only four new species seen for the year since the 17th June
(Unless you count the two model yachts and model boat plane I saw today on the lake and of course flying over) still Bullfinch and Common Tern have eluded me so far this year . Tried searching through the tufted ducks for anything unusual but most of them were a sleep or kept diving which was a bit frustrating. any way the best I could muster this morning was,
Gadwall – 2
Common Sandpiper – 4
Lapwing – 10
Swallow – 10
Great Crested grebe – 15
Little Grebe – 21
Reed Warbler – 2
Willow Warbler – 1
Chiffchaff – 1
plus the usual fare of coot, tufted duck, mallard, mute swan and gulls
27th August 2016

Had another trip this afternoon round the lakes, it seemed very quiet on the passerine front with just a Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff seen along with 3 Reed Warbler.
other birds seen are as follows
Mute Swan – 21
Mallard –5
Tufted Duck – 51
Coot – c100
Great Crested Grebe – 15
Little Grebe – 12
G B B Gull –1
L B B Gull – 3
Herring Gull – 60
Grey Heron – 2
Common Sandpiper – 2
Snipe – 1 first of the autumn I think for Longham ?
Lapwing - 1
Willow warbler – 1
Chiffchaff – 1
Grey Wagtail – 1
The water level is down to 13.5 metre on the water marker at the pump house approximately which is exposing some nice gravel round the islands.
as I was walking round the lake I began wonder why is it that Longham does not produce the high numbers of Green Sandpipers and no Little Ringed Plovers, Wood Sandpipers and such.
Is it do with flight paths taken on the migrator routes so the lakes are not on the flight path and to far in land? Also is there any that can be done to encourage Bournemouth water company to encourage these specie to drop in and use the place?
Phone scoped record shot
 26th August 2016

Had an interesting evening round Longham South Lake with 8 Common Sandpiper and 2 Kingfishers.
The Sandpipers gave a good aerial display round and round the small island at the top of South Lake giving a piping type whistle call as the went round.
It was nice to see that many flying together round the lake with there pulsing wing beats a calls.
And Gull which I think was a 2nd winter Greater Black backed Gull, it was much larger than the brown  juvenile and adult herring, also was a very bright white under tail coverts , neck, and head which look large with a long heavy bill with dark spot at the tip.
a bit of streaking on the chest and flanks. Upper parts looked black and white pattern.
very poor record shot of GBBGull

Poor record shot of GBB Gull showing size diffrence with Herring gull in the forground
 20th August 2016

Had walk round the south lake late morning early afternoon,
4 Swifts lots of Sand Martins and House Martins over the lake . notes of interest were 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Hobby over and a Pochard at the south end of the lake.
and a Tufted duck with 4 ducklings.
Poor phone scope Grey Heron
14th August 2016

A quick walk round the North Lake this afternoon the high lights were,
Willow Warbler – 4
Common Whitethroat – 2
Stonechat – 2
Sparrowhawk – 1
Great Crested Grebe – 7

1st Winter Herring Gulls

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Various trips out and about

As I have not been very active on the blog recently I thought I should up date it with some various trips I have had out and about.
So the best place to start would be the 7th August were I went over to RSPB Arne to be part of HEN HARRIER day were we heard Birds of Poole Harbour's  Paul Morton, and others including Iolo Williams were they all talk very passionately about the plight of the harriers and the persecution they get on grouse moors.
At the end of the day I met and thanked Iolo for a great talk he gave and how inspiring it was to hear,
and came home with a very good book  called Catching the Bug .

Next trip out was on a walk with Birds of Poole Harbour up to Old Harry and Ballard down for the monthly walk. We had wonderful weather bright sunny but with a cool breeze on top of the cliffs.
on the way we had about 70 Linnets fly over which was quite an impressive sight.
Old Harry

 We stopped off at the top of the cliffs to take in views were we had a distance view of a Gannet, House Martins swooping about head height round the cliff face.
The Stack

View of Pool Harbour

View across to Studland
At the end of a wonderful day we had spotted Common Whitethroats, Spotted Flycatcher, and a new bird for the year with Lesser Whitethroats and a scatting of Blackcaps and some lovely Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff.

In between these time I had a few evenings walks round Longham lakes but not much to report on with just the usual stuff on on the lakes. But on the 14th August I went round the north lake in the afternoon with my son and added another bird to the patch list with Willow Warbler 4 of them along the hedge by the visitors hut. And today 20th we had a walk round south with not much change expect for a little build up of little grebes with 10 spotted, a Pochard 2 Common Sandpipers and a Hobby over the lake mostly likely after the many House Martins and Sand Martins that were hawking over the lake along with 4 Swift.

The Lytchett Patch as been very interesting as I have been going down after work to try and find a Ruff and Little Stints that have been reported.

The evening of 14th August .
Went down to the view points again after tea this evening to see if I could find the pesky Ruff that keeps eluding me and guess what he was hiding again.
Though did have a nice hour or so searching the fields.
Snipe – 10 on Sherford pools
Common Sandpiper – 3 SP
Green Sandpiper – 2 SP
Lapwing – 22 SP
Little Egret – 21 FP
Lapwing – 40 FP
Dunlin – 15 FP
Ringed Plover – 1
Black –tailed Godwit – 7
Grey Heron – 1
17th August

Went down to the view points after work to try and catch up with the Little Stints and Ruff.
On the way I saw 1 Spotted Flycatcher in the lane and In the row of gorse in the approach field 1 Dartford Warbler a site first for me , which I was alerted to by a trrrt trrrt sound I had just recently listened to in Catching the Bug on CD1-16 at 1-1.5 seconds so I started to scan the gorse and there he was .
Out on Sherford Pools lots and lots of Black-tailed Godwit, possible 200 or more, I now know how a Peregrine can become confused with so many birds
I did not count them as I was searching for the Ruff, L Stints I did eventually find the Ruff but struggled to locate the other two birds.
Though I did have a good look and  through the many Dunlin c40 of them across the two view points, I came across a brute of a Dunlin he looked huge and very roundish
compared to the others . Also out on the mud with the tide rising were 10 Snipe, 10 Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, Redshanks, Lapwings and a Greenshank, It was a same I had to leave at 19.50 hrs as the place was looking spectacular  with so many birds. And yes I finally located the Ruff.
19th August I head back down to Lytchett Fields as I had seen that some birds I have been wanting to since last year as I kept missing them and it would be a new lifer bird for me, but I did not expect to see what I did see.

It was great to have stunning views my first Curlew Sandpipers not 1 but 6 of them, a moulting adult and 5 juveniles on the large pool just before French’s view point, not bad for my first ever sighting of the species, followed by 2 Little Stint,  a Ruff, Ringed Plover, LRP, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and lots of teal.
Some ropey record shots of the Curlew Sandpipers
Juvenile and Moulting adult

Four Curlew Sandpipers

And then there were Six
 Lycthett Field is an amazing place, early that day the 19th there was a report of a Wryneck sitting on the information board at Sherford Pools view Point amazing just wish I got to see that as that is another bird I would love to see.