Friday, 24 June 2016

24th June 2016

This evening I had my fourth trip round Longham Lakes this month, with only one new bird the Peregrine this month.I was hoping to catch up with some terns as there as been a couple of sightings of Common and Sandwich Terns round the lakes, but not this evening though I think it is only going to be a matter of time before I catch up with one of the species hopefully!
Walking up along the causeway there were about 30 Swifts flying this way and that and some darting past at head height after insects. I just love watching these master of the air as they go about hawking across the lake and high in the sky specially when we have good conditions like this evening .
I decided to count the tufted ducks that were about across both lakes and came up with a count of c150 tuftys and 44 coots.
The most interesting thing to happen this evening though was a Cuckoo I heard call behind Samuel's Wood and a fox trying to catch woodpigeons in the shire horse field.
Think it is going to be a hard  few months now, just wish the lakes had a few more shallow/ gravel areas for migrant waders to drop on to as the water level was high this evening so no areas round the island were exposed
Male Mallard in eclipse

Saturday, 18 June 2016

17th June 2016

I had a couple of hours early evening walking round the South Lake at Longham, Swifts , Swallows and House Martins in the air wheeling this way and that hawking insects with superb agility.
Out on the water I counted  Tufted Duck c113 there must be nearly 200 tufted across the site as on the I had a walk round the north lake and counted 60 on the water that evening, Mallards c25, Mute Swan 20 and 2 Great Crested Grebe plus the usual coots and herring gulls.
A long the western side up to Samuels Wood the best was a Cetti’s Warbler on show for a brief second or two, a Whitethroat  a singing Chiffchaff.
While standing listerning to the bird song at the south west corner of the lake I watched two Stock Dove come in from the east and go in to Samuels Wood, then from behind the pools some Woodpigeons took the sky and suddenly out of no were a Peregrine comes bombing through heading north west across the lake. This Peregrine now brings my site list up to 82 for the year and the PWC,I hope to get a hundred species for the site by the end of the year but I think is going to be very hard going.
South Lake

Sunday, 12 June 2016

First Longham trip in June

June 8th I had a evening stroll round the South Lake hoping to add some new birds but this trip I had no such luck. So it was a case of watching the ducks loafing about on the water, walking along the causse way I spotted 7 swift hawking over north lake. The reed warblers were in full song again with a few showing in the reeds along the edge of north lake on reaching the end of the cause I scanned the fields but not much about except for the shire horses, a few woodpigeon with a common buzzard perched up in a small tree watching the pigeons.
Common Buzzard
That was pretty much it on the birds expect one shelduck on the large island, but it was a intersting evening. The next few weeks will very hard I think to add any extra birds to the list hopefully I can get a common tern one evening or morning and just hope some waders might drop in when they start there autumn migration in July.
This evening left my site list still stuck at 81 species , but the motavtion is still their to vist the patch and even more so now having just started reading a Patch made in Heaven by Dominic Couzens
It is a very interesting in sight to patch watching and its like  I am mirroring my exsperences on the patch with some of the stuff that as bee written.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Great Spotted Cuckoo

I decided to go to Portland to see the Great Spotted Cuckoo last weekend but things transpired against me, so all week I have been hoping it would still be there this weekend.
With a few emails sent out about the Cuckoo I arranged to meet another Dorset birder Terry Elborn this Saturday and we went for the bird. We set off at about 7.30 am and made good time and as we were driving in to Portland we were discussing the best place to try for the bird. I had received some information from one of the emails I sent out telling me that the Cuckoo was usually seen early morning in Reap Lane. On arriving at the lane there was only two birders there but the best news was the Cuckoo was in the scrub also  I managed to get the bins on him before he went into cover.
The Cuckoo spent a bit of time feeding on caterpillars and showing briefly before coming out in the open giving cracking views .

Great Spotted Cuckoo

I like this picture but the small twig  blocking the head and eye area spoils the look.
After watching the Cuckoo for a while it took off and flew to the Obs so we went to see if the Little Owls were out and our luck was hold as they were just in the gap in the quarry but only had distance scope views. After this we made our way home stopping to see the Little Terns at Chisel while there we had Sandwich Terns , Dunlin and a Sanderling in summer plumage and 5 Ringed Plover of course with the luck we were having we dropped in to Radipole for Beard Tit as the would be another lifer for me . I did seen a Bearded Tit but unfortunately it was not a very good view as they were very eluvise . The end of the day was rounded off with stopping at a view point looking over Lodmor and having some lunch while watching a wonderful female Marsh Harrier quarting the reeds. 

 Today proved to be a great break from patch watching which as been a little bit slow at Longham and Lytchett with only two new birds in the last few trips to Longham and no new species since the Glossy Ibis trip.
New Birds for Longham
Garden Warbler
Stock Dove 

Phone Scoped shot of Ringed Plover & Sanderling