Sunday, 31 July 2016

End of the Month at Longham Lake

After getting my hair cut and sorting out the new TV I made my way over to Longham Lake for the last trip of the month just to see what was about and hopefully had an extra bird or two to the list.
Unfortunately this was not to be as there seems little about which as been the case for most of my visits this month with only the two new birds spotted in the month Hobby and Sedge Warbler.
Though on my previous visit I did have new site species for me with a lovely Grass Snake swimming along by the rock at the pump house.
Think one on the problems might be for waders dropping in is the high water level at present which is not leaving any shore line  exposed round the islands for them to settle and disturbance round the lakes so perhaps if any have dropped in the early hours they wound of pushed on by the time I get there in the afternoon, I must try and get there early one day.
The best of the best I saw to day were.

Common Sandpiper - 2
Lapwing - 18 out in the field
Little Grebe - 5
Swift - 1 which surprised me
Swallow - 6
House - Martin - 5
Green Woodpecker - 3 one adult two Juveniles

At the end of this month my species count is at 85 and a point score of 91 for the Patch Work Challenge.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Pushing my Luck

Went down to the view point this afternoon from work, did not get there until 14.50 hrs traffic a nightmare trying to get off Ferndown industrial estate, then getting home to pick up the gear told the wife I would be back for tea.
Annoyingly I had to leave at 16.30 hrs as it was going to push it to get home for the promised time, just as the Sherford view was starting to look good. Had a nice time though going through the birds plenty of Redshanks and Lapwings
tried counting the Redshanks but gave up as a flock of Black-tailed Godwits came in a settled so counted these instead, though I did get to 32 for the Red shanks.
I need to get a much better scope ( roll on November) as I came a cross a bird that at first I thought was a Juvenile Wood Sandpiper then I though it was a Juvenile Redshank but I am still wondering whether it was a Wood Sand, as it looked like it had yellowish green legs but only a hint of a supercilium and what looked like brown spotted/mottled upper parts though the view was not great it also looked different from the many Redshank,( or have I got some kind of autumn migration madness setting in )  but I never saw it bob its rear end upper and down like the common/Green Sandpipers do so going to have to put this one down as maybe or maybe not.
Any way to the birds I did see and hear.
House Martin – 4
Redshanks got up to 32 before stopping
Black-tailed Godwits- 86
Dunlin – 7 in summer or partial Summer plumage
Common Sandpiper – 4
Greenshank – 2
Canada Geese – 6
Little Egret – 8
Little Ringed Plover – 1
Shelduck - 2
Reed Bunting - 1
And yes I was a little late for the required time I said I would be home but when you have a possible Wood Sandpiper it was worth the hassle

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Lytchett Fields 16th July 2016

Spent late morning early afternoon (11.00 – 14.50 Hrs) down at the fields looking for the Knots could not locate them but did watch some interesting birds.
At 11.50/55 a Marsh Harrier came across the fields putting everything up in the air had a good view as it glided up above me and in to the the bright blue sky it looked like a very scruffy female?
Secondaries and inner primaries a very pale bluish grey in the reflected light with dark out primaries, and a mixture of brown and off white in the mantle , lesser coverts bleeding in to the median covert area and pale coloured tail, what struck me was how light the secondaries and inner primaries were as it climbed higher and higher it was like I could almost see through them with light on them and how ragged the end of the tail and secondaries look making think it looked scruffy, still a very nice sight watched until lost at 12.00pm.
Also some highlights of the day.
Black- tailed Godwit – 21
Lapwing – 22
Common Sandpiper – 1
Little Ringed Plover - final count of 3
Greenshank – 1
Dunlin – 2 in summer plumage
Redshank – 10
Collard Dove – 2
Curlew – 35 out in the bay viewed from the black pipe
Whimbrel – 1 same as above
Stock Dove – 1
Little Egret – 15
Moorhen – 2 plus one well grown juvenile
Juvenile Black- headed Gull – 1
plus several red Admirals 
Red Admiral

Longham Lakes July 15th 2016

Dropped in to Longham after work, seemed very quiet, though Swifts ,Swallows and Sand Martins were about did not see any house martins though I expect they were there,
The high lights of the walk are as follows. Sedge Warbler phew thought I was never going to tick this one off for the PWC this year, now just need to find one at Lytchett, 3 Common Sandpipers, 13 Lapwing, a Grey Wagtail and my first sighting this year of a brood of 4 Tufted ducklings 
Searching the gulls I came across a gull that I am not sure about I think it is a Lesser Black-backed but what is getting confussed is the bill as the very tip looked like it had been dipped in black ink
Any one read the blog as any idea of the species please let me know. I find gull interesting but very complexed.
Gull IID needed

Record shot of Tufted Duck female
The record shot above of the Tufted duck got be a bit excited as I did wonder whether it was a young Greater Scuap as I could not find any tuft on the back of the head and it seem vermiculated along the flanks and had some dirty white round the base of the bill, and a round head but no pale check spot so must be a female Tufty. It's good to have bird like this as it makes you look more closely so when one does turn up I will have a better chance of getting the ID right.

 As of  9th July my Dorset year list is up to 148 species  I am not usual this far head with my list,  2013 = 105, 2014 = 151, 2015 = 152. Is it possible to get another 52 by the end of December? I suppose it is all down to what I have seen so far and what will turn up. This year so far as been great and very enjoyable doing the patch work challenge which as helped .
Sedge Warbler - 85th Species for the site

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Roosting Nightjar & Lytchett Fields

This morning 9yh July I headed over to the cafe at RSPB Arne to catch up with a Nightjar that as been roosting in a large oak tree in the cafe garden for the past 7-10 days. There can not be many places were you can grab a coffee and watch a nightjar.
The bird is very well camourflaged and hard to find but with plenty of people about and BirdsofPoolHarbour there it was easy to find with being pointed in the right direction.
My thanks to Paul Morton of BirdsofPooleHarbour for using is scope to get the top picture with my phone.

Nightjar taken through a Kowa scope with a Galaxy j5 phone

Nightjar taken through a Celestron scope with a Galaxy j5 phone
This is a male bird which you can tell by the white under tail tips and white wing flashes when it moves. It is most likely a failed breeder and as been pushed out of the heath and on to the hedge area. It as now been roosting in the large oak tree of the RSPB Arne cafe for around 7-10 days now.

After watching the now famous Nightjar form he terrace of the Arne cafe I made my way to Lytchett Fields with hope of catching up with some new birds.
This place never disappoints me out of Sherford Pools there were 270 Black-tailed Godwits some in very wonderful breeding plumage they looked stunning.
I scanned this field thoroughly but could not find anything new so switched to French’s view point and started scanning the field held a few Shelduck, 14 Lapwing
one singing Reed Warbler. Then I notice a small bird scurry across the mud, I get the scope on it and there is not one but two plover now at a distance, young little ringed plovers,
though at first I was a bit confused with them. As they were very pale brown almost beige like, struggled to find any yellow orbital ring, as I said the upper parts with very pale brown/beige colour a white collar at the back of the head nap area and the head was the same colour, but had a black smudge round the eye, had a thin black bill with a tiny white patch above the bill/on the forehead area.
under parts were white and had dark/black legs which I put down to being covered in mud? They ran quickly a bit like sanderling and stopped picked and the ground then ran some more.
So when I got home I looked through my books and came to the conclusion they were juvenile Little Ringed Plovers, but the dark legs did throw me off a bit.
On the way back up Slough lane I came across a grey wagtail feeding on the flies in the large puddle by the over hanging scrub willow.
These two birds bring my species list for the site up to 103 and a point score for the patch work challenge to 121, roll on the autumn.
One of the many summer plumage Black-tailed Godwits

Saturday, 2 July 2016

July 2nd at Longham Lake

Banded Dameslfly

Well after spending almost two days in hospital I had to get out on one of the patches today .
I was going to head to Lytchett Fields but my son wanted to come with me but go to Longham as he and the wife thought a short walk would be better for me having spent Thurdays in A&E then the night and most of the day in the surgical assement ward.
Having had 6 days  in June at Longham with only one new find ( a Peregrine) I was not holding much hope of connecting with anything new on this trip. Well I was wrong as we pulled in the car park my son was asking what are those birds, House Martins or Swifts having told him before they are swifts look at there long swepted back wings and brown colour and shape. When someting caught my eye but was much bigger the Swifts a round I jumped out of the car got the bins on it and yes it was what I thought the bird flew overer the visitor centre then out over north lake then came back with a flock of swifts screeching away. It all of a sudden put a great burst of speed and almost nailed a swift right in front of us, an awesome burst of speed and algility by both birds it was incredable how the swift just managed to exscape with its life.
Common Buzzard

My species total is now up to  84 and a point score of 90, with only 16 more species to get for the hundred can I make it I do not know but I am going to have a good try! It is going to be hard I know but I still have Bullfinch, Sedge Warbler to get and I could possible get Tawny Owl or perhaps a Barn Owl out in the fields that would be a great find. Hopefully some waders and winter duck could make it on the list?

Hobby - no:84