Monday, 22 January 2018

Cowards Marsh, Christchurch.

(Belated Post)

Had a visit to Cowards Marsh, Christchurch, which was a new site location for me, a nice fresh water marsh next to the river Avon. Obviously the pull here was the Stilt Sandpiper that has reloacted to the eastern edge of Dorset and i was / am hoping to see it for 2018. No luck today but there is still hope that it puts in a reappearance at this site or else where. All was not wasted though as this is a nice site so worthy of future visits.

The video below shows you what the viewing conditions are like through the scope,

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

3 Hen Harriers in to Roost.

Mike and I decided to head out and visit one of the Harrier roosts at the weekend, the weather was looking good and so we settled in and waited, pretty much straight away birds were showing but with long periods in-between sightings which afforded us the opportunity to have  a natter & catch up and as always it is good to see and have a laugh with Mike. 

The birds did show very well at one point but unfortuantley just as the light was beyond my camera's capabilities and so I decided to just watch these buoyant beauties. We had at least 3 individulas which included 2 males and female. There was a lack of Merlin and Marsh Harriers which was disappointing, however seeing 3 Hen Harriers playfully flying around before watching them go to roost was a nice close-out to the weekend. 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Local Hawfinches...

Having not been out properly this year Mike D and I were chatting the other night about getting out to do something this weekend, the Forest and Dorset were mentioned and so we decided to put a plan together later in the week. Mike advised me that he had vsistied the local Hawfinches and how well they are showing. 

I have not caught up with any of the Hawfinch action last autumn or this winter. I guess I just blanked it as this is a species I see on nearly an every day basis when I am on forest looking for other species when sat on a view point or in a clearing. Usually they are either perched up in the distance or flying over. They are one of those species (I just and I know I shouldn't but I take for granted alongside the likes of Lesser Spotted's which nest near one of my other favoured view points). 

Then Mike advised that these particular Hawfinches are really-really-showy and are reguarly seen on the deck, again I wasn't that tempted but when Mike sent me a BOC shot I decided I really should grab the opportunity to try and grab a few shots of this species on the deck. So with a spare couple of hours I decided to give it a go and even though it was a grey, dull and murky day a small break in the clouds allowed for a few shots before having to head back. 

BW: This post is particuarly for you as you don't like the grey waders and so I hope this is more up your street?

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Purple Sandpipers at Portland.

Based in Purbeck for the weekend we had a wander down to Portland, the weather was changeable to say the least but a window allowed for a wander along the cliffs and a cuppa in the Lobster Pot. Also allowing a bit of time with 5 Purple Sandpipers. Always nice to see these little "Rock Creepers" and the opportunity to click away at them can never be missed.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Stour Valley Local Nature Reserve - Christmas Eve.

After being out in various pubs on-forest last night it was a belated start to today and a last minute decision to get out and get some fresh air as it was Christmas Eve. We decided to have a wander along the river Stour at Stour Valley Local Nature Reserve. 

As we arrived at the river, we were straight in on an Otter within minutes, however it didn't hang around as both individuals were making their way down river but we only manged to see a singleton. 

A walk along the river and on to Kinson sewgae works where an hour of birding produced; 

Siberian Chiffchaff 1
Firecrest 1
Chiffchaff 8 

Monday, 18 December 2017

Brownsea Island - Stilt Sandpiper 17/12/17.

Was offered the opportunity to join a trip to Brownsea Island for today and so grabbed  the chance and was on the quay at Sandbanks over looking the harbour mouth mid morning. A smooth ten minute boat journey and a short walk and there we were in the hide over looing the lagoon. The Stilt Sandpiper was quickly picked up from birders in the other hide. A quick walk back and there was the Stilt Sandpiper on show closeby. 

The weather wasn't great with dull over-head conditions and rain at times not providing the best light, However the Stilt Sandpiper showed very well at times right in front of the hide enabling the photos in this post. I have now seen this individual at three different locations within the Poole Harbour area basin of Middlebere, Lychett & now Brownsea Island where I got the best views so far.

I think that this is the first over wintering record of Stilt Sandpiper in the UK and with the Lesser Legs also over wintering not far this is a nice double act to have closeby. 

Other bits today included:

Two Great Norhern Diver's,  Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Barwit, Blackwit, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Avocet, King Fisher, Green Woodpecker, Shag, Cormorant etc.

A big thanks to Marcus L and Paul M for arranging this for me of which it was good to see Marcus again after so long.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Lodmoor@the Weekend.

After leaving Holes Bay I wasn't quite sure exactly where to head next and so after a cuppa I decided to head on to Lodmoor and test the scope out on the Lesser Legs, if it were to show that is, reports had been sporadic of late. 

Arrival at Lodmoor was a grey affair but quiet with hardly any one around, It also seemed quiet bird wise with just 17 Dunlin feeding closeby. No sign of the Lesser Legs so I decided to grab a bite to eat on the bench over looking the west scrape. Then I could hear the Lesser Legs calling and then sure enough it flew in, the usual distance allowing some video footage but still just to far for any photos. I stayed watching the bird as it moved in, out and behind some clumps of reeds, then it took flight and dropped behind one of the bunds and out of sight, but then I could hear it calling again and it flew in on one of the other pools. As I walked down to relocate it, it was present feeding but then just started walking towards me, I quickly grabbed the camera out of the bag and started clicking, this is the best and closest I have seen this bird and I was really pleased with this, then the 5 Ruff flew in shortly followed by the 17 Dunlin as they all fed  which then just set a nice scene. A female Sparrowhawk flew through low and fast causing all the waders to spook and fly off and so with this I decided to walk back along the beach to see if there was any Divers in the bay and then on to Radipole where plenty of Meds and a few Bearded's were on offer and then as the day turned to night I myslef called it a day and headed for home after a successful day and some good, not all, results in the premiership the day ended well watching MOTD.