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

1 comment:

  1. Was great to finally meet you Martin :)
    I'll try and get a blog update tonight :)