Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Out & About

29th March 2017
Had the day off work today and after an  early morning  appointment, I headed down to Lytchett Fields another one of the patches I record for the Patch Work Challenge, though I have not been down as regular as last year.
Had a nice calling Nuthatch and a Jay as I walked down Slough Lane, A couple of Bullfinch as I walked down to the Pools Field view were I hoped to locate a Water Pipit but no luck with those but 15 Black-tailed Gowits and a few Redshanks working the flooded Pool. Down on Sherford Pools plenty of Teal and the Green Winged Teal was on the far pool a Lapwing flying over going in the Bakers Arms direction, 34 Black-tailed Godwits.
After the going to the Fields I decided I would go and see if I could find my first Great Grey Shrike, I headed of to Morden Bog with some advise from Ian on rough location of the bird ( Thanks Ian ) I made my way to the decoy pond,but first I looked over the bog forest first but did not see anything so walked along the path next to the pond scanning the trees on both side hoping for a glimpse of the shrike.
As I was scanning a Swallow came it to view and I followed it with the bins as it flew across the lake and headed in Wareham direction,a Water Rail called from the edge of the pond as I started to make my way a long the path back to the car another birder asked if I had seen the shrike to which a said no that's what I’ve been looking for, We parted company and for some reason I stopped and started to look at the trees again round the lake, When I noticed the other birders waving at me so I hastily made my way over to them and the told me they located the shrike! The guy who was from Bath let me have a look through is scope just in case it flew off, after a little while we managed to get my scope fixed on to the bird which had it back to me by now but turn to show it nice mask and flew off. After a little bit of searching it was relocated sat on top of a dead tree given a very good but distance view but by the time  I thought of getting a phone scoped record shot it flew off again and I could not locate the bird. My first Grey Grey Shrike a cracking bird hope to see one again soon.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Longham Patch 25th March

Had an early morning (well not that early 8.30am) walk round the lakes today. it was a very pleasant walk with singing Song Thrush, Chiffchaff at least 4 round the site and two seen also 4 Cetti’s Warbler singing with one sighted on the west side of North lake. Dunnock busy chasing each other and singing also with 5 seen along with Wren blasting out there loud song for such little bird was a wonderful sound ringing round the lakes.
The 2 Great White Egret were on the large island in South Lake, 4 Sand Martin over North Lake, two pairs of Great Crested Grebes performing there courtship dance, with lots of head shaking with their chestnut frills held wide open but not much else going on.
A nice spring sighting of 12 Mallard ducklings by the slip way first ducklings of the year at Longham?
And the first butterfly at the patch was a Peacock 

Peacock taken in the garden on the same morning

Female Mallard (mum)

Mum and some of her brood

7 of the 12 ducklings

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Longham Patch 18th March

Had a very good morning at the lakes the long staying Great White Egret was on the large island in south lake with two Little Egrets.
The wintering duck have departed as no sign of any Pochard or Wigeon only 3 Shoveler and 6 Teal and 6 Gadwall.
Singing Chiffchaffs calling Cetti’s Warblers, c20 Sand Martin ( first count was 6 then out of now were there was a more appeared and counted all a long the west side of south Lake) and a wonderful sight and sound of 103 Mediterranean Gulls settled on South Lake.
Looks like the farmer of Hampreston fields as been busy cleaning out the ditch and cutting some willow down along the ditch and on the river.
Up to 71 species seen now with the Sand Martins  it was good to see them back.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Longham Patch 11th March

View from the South West corner seat
I was going to go for the Snow Bunting this morning but had to go in to Winton in the morning first so decided to drop in to Longham on the way home instead.
It was a nice walk round the lakes with birds singing and calling,  those Bullfinches are still eluding me I looked all round the hedges of North lake, Reed Buntings, Goldfinch, Long tailed Tits and  the first Cetti’s Warbler ( a total of 3 heard round the lakes) of the morning heard and out of the thicket shot a male Sparrowhawk that flew low right over the top of me a wonderful sighting.
Two Great White Egrets were on the Stour by the cattle drink opposite the causeway, out on South lake, 9 Pochard still remain but numbers going down with them 16 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 2 Shoveler and 6 Gadwall plus Mallards Tufted Duck and Coot. Looking through the gulls I had 1 common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 1 Great Black-backed Gull and 11 Mediterranean Gulls mixed in with the Black-headed Gulls. Besides all of these there were the usual woodland species like Blue Tits,Great Tits, Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker a Kestrel and and new bird for the Patch Work Challenge a pair of Jays which brings the years patch list up to 70 species of bird and 4 mammals seen of far.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Waxwing Blues

The Waxwings turned up again early Saturday morning but I did not have a car until 10.30 as I was picking up a new second hand car, luckily they were still there when I  went to collect the car, but as usual my luck was not with me as they apparently flew off 5 minutes before I got there!:( I Stuck around for a bit but with  no sign of them, ( will I ever see them my 6th trip) I decided to shoot of to Longham Lakes on arriving there was a light shower which turned in to a very heavy shower but luckily a friend was fishing the north lake so I sheltered under is big brolly,  I watched a Kestrel hovering over the causeway and a Sparrowhawk fly low over the edge of the lake and along the causeway just before the shower started. After the rain had stopped I walked up the causeway to look over Hampreston Fields,the 2 Great White Egrets were still there  along with a number of Canada and Greylag geese, Mute Swans and Gulls and a few duck in the flooded pools in the fields mainly Wigeon with a few Gadwall, Teal and a couple of Shoveler. Out on the lake it seemed very quite with the birds mostly Tufted Ducks and Coots spread across the lake, and the only reason I can think of was they got disturbed as my friend told me that the model yacht enthusiast were sailing their boats first thing in the morning.  the highlight of the afternoon besides seeing the Great White Egrets again was watching 36 Mediterranean Gulls fly in and settle on the water for a while before flying off again.

The new car