Sunday, 21 May 2017

Longham Patch 18th May 2017

While at work I was contemplating whether to go down to Portland in the evening to see if I could catch up with the Golden Oriole that was reported the day before. But news of one turning up near Corfe Castle and with the weather starting to turn for the worst, I decided not to go to Portland as I thought the bird had moved on and it was not wise to travel after work in the pouring rain just for a may be there bird.

 On the way home from work it chucked it down and I began to wonder if the weather had grounded any birds at Longham. I arrived at the lakes round about 18.00 hrs and soon found the Bonaparte's Gull on North Lake after take a few pictures and a video of the bird as it is quickly moult in to its summer black hood. I moved on up along the causeway and round South Lake hoping for some new birds but everywhere seemed very quiet and it did not bode well with the Ducks canoeist group just about to go on the water. At this point while on the west side of the lake I noticed to little ducks swim out of the reeds and to my surprise it was a wonderful pair of Garganey and male and female. For those that read my blog and do not know about these wonderful little ducks. They are roughly the  (37-41cm) same size Teal perhaps a little bigger.  They are a rare  summer migrant from sub-Sarharan Africa with less than a hundred or so pairs that arrive to breed. It was very nice to see a pair together as I have only seem males by them selves and a lone female at this little inland wet land site in May expect last year when I either missed them or which I think is most likely one never turned up.

Male Garganey

Female Garganey

Grey Wagtail

This Garganey now puts me on 95 species seen at the site and what a nice little duck one of my favourite ducks.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Longham Patch 13th May 2017

I do not now how past springs have been at Longham ,but I am  having a very good spring this year.
Last year doing the Patch Work Challenge i finished the year on 96 species, by the end of the first quarter this year (January - April ) I was on 89 species with 63 of those species found in January alone.
Though April - May top the bill with finding  a Nuthatch my first for the site, then finding a wonderful male Whinchat followed up with two lifers with the Bonaparte's Gull and Red-rumped Swallow . One stunning Dunlin in summer/breeding plumage.
Then today I find a lovely Bar-tailed Godwit, still in its winter/none breeding plumage on the large island in South Lake. My first for the site and looking through the Bird List and Past Records on Dominic's web site it looks to be only the 2nd record since 1st May 2007.
I am really getting in to this patching watching now and as I sit here typing this I am wondering what if any birds I could be missing at the site,and I am missing some good birds to at my other favourite place Lytchett Fields,but I feel I am becoming part of Longham Lakes and want to be there all the time, the wife thinks I am daft and becoming obsessed but who cares birds are just wonderful and exciting . What will the Autumn passage bring?

Bar-tailed Godwit 2nd record in 10 years!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Longham Patch May 7th

Just a short Blog this time as I did not have any time to go birdwatching on the week of the 6th-7th May.
Saturday I spent most of the day doing  D I Y stuff and running round shops for various items and in the late afternoon and all evening spent my time in the Poole A&E department with my wife.

Getting late home from the hospital Saturday night I slept well and was up late on Sunday morning not expecting to do much, expect for doing a large water change on my 4 foot fish tank I was having a lazy morning. That was until I had a Tweet from Darran Jones ( Thanks Darran) a rival ;) birder/competitor of the Patch Work Challenge were we both  have a go at seeing as many birds we can at Longham Lake Darren is catching me up slowly but I do have the advantage of being able to get to the site more often and have a scope, though Darran does take some very nice picture and the are a lot better than my efforts.
So when I read is tweet I dropped everything and said to the wife I am going to Longham I have just got to go! As there are certain birds I would like to see at Longham and read 3 Black Terns resting on a buoy on South Lake that was it I was off like shot.
I quickly arrived at the lake and scanned from the slipway  and found one of the Terns flying around, see Darran and other birds on the west side of the lake I hastily made my way to them  were I had very good views of the Terns resting and hawking over the lake, a few record shots were taken so I made my way along the causeway  were I saw the long staying Bonaparte's Gull again on North Lake getting harassed by the Black-head Gull.
Black Tern

Black Tern showing a black head and smokey grey upper parts

Black Tern- black under parts contrasting with the smokey grey under wing
Thanks to Darran tweets these Black Tern brings me up to 93 species for the site this year..

Monday, 8 May 2017

Longham Patch May 5th

Dropped in to Longham Lakes after work this afternoon . Lots of shifts hawking over the causeway whizzing past at eye level and close at times. Then high I head shifts screaming as they do so looked up expecting a Hobby,  but there was not one about it was a very large group of swift easily c 200 birds. The best way I can explain what it was like is like this a large dark mass like when you see a large herring ball  on the documentary programs.  All the birds were travelling in a west ward direction it as spectacular. On the south side of the island two Shelduck we're  a sleep, but the best bird of the afternoon was a wonderful Osprey that came in from the southeast over south lake. It was harassed by the gulls so turned drifted over Samuel's Wood and looked like it was following the river going south southeast? I was quite excited to see an Osprey over Longham Lakes a site first for me but at the same time I was annoyed with myself for leaving my SD card of the Slr in the laptop after down loading the recent pictures I took of the Bonaparte's Gull, which was still on north lake in the north west corner of the lake.

All the above picture of the Bonaparte's Gull were taken om 3rd May