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Lodmoor RSPB
22nd January 2019

Our final day of the Dorset Weekend began at Lodmoor RSPB. We saw a Robin, Grey Heron & few other common birds. The Lesser Yellowlegs was still showing well on the scrape. We headed down to Ferrybridge to see what was there. A few Mediterranean & Herring Gulls were of note but not much else was seen. A Carrion Crow was dropping a mussel onto the beach to crack it open. Our final port of call was Radipole Lake RSPB in Weymouth and the Mediterranean Gulls were gathering with Black-headed Gulls in the car park. It had been a brilliant weekend - lovely birds, lovely flat and we were very lucky with the weather.  

Arne RSPB
21st January 2019

We popped to Arne RSPB to have a wander around the reserve. The woodlands were very quiet for birdlife, so we decided to walk along the beach at Shipstal Point. Unfortunately, the peace and quiet of the morning was shattered by some t–––––– in a canoe who had decided to do a spot of wildfowling on the edge of the saltmarsh with a shotgun!!! We weren't sure if that was part of the reserve or not, but we reported it to the RSPB volunteers when we got back to the Visitor Centre. We did see some Sika Deer feeding  on the marsh-land & in the woodland. We had a bit of lunch in the cafe before moving on to  Studland. We walked over the heathland and had a bonus sighting of a Great White Egret. Sadly it didn't stay for very long & took off flying eastwards. There were other birds including Greenshank & Bar-tailed Godwit. A Male Green Woodpecker was feeding on the path. At the point there were a few Great Crested Grebes, Little Egrets, Goldeneye & Dark-bellied Brent Geese. We popped to Middle Beach to see if any Mediterranean Gulls were roosting on the beach but 2 dogs were off the leads & out of control so nothing there. We went to South Beach & managed to find a single Mediterranean Gull foraging on the beach. We finished the day with a splendid sighting of 8 Ring-necked Parakeets gathering to roost in a few of the trees. It’s nice to know that they are still around.

Poole & Brownsea Island 20th January 2019

We got up early to the catch the boat to Brownsea Island at 09:00. On the crossing over to Brownsea Island, we saw Red-breasted Mergansers, Black-necked Grebes, Slavonian Grebes, Great Crested Grebes, Great Northern Divers, Cormorants, Shags & Gulls. On the Brownsea Lagoon were good numbers of Avocets, a few Common Redshanks, Back-tailed Godwits, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Sika Deer in the reeds & a Greenshank. At the Villa, we saw a Red Squirrel on the feeder as well as Blue, Great & Coal Tits with Chaffinches. A couple of Female Common Pheasants were foraging around the feeders with 3 Male Peafowl or Peacock. We made our way to the boat for the return journey. There was a few more Black-necked Grebes, Slavonion Grebes, Red-breasted Mergansers, Cormorants & Shags. There was also large number of Dark-bellied Brent Geese & Spoonbills on the Arne Peninsular. We arrived back into Poole Quay just after 1:00 in the afternoon. After lunch in the flat, we popped to Sandbanks to look for Purple Sandpipers. We didn't see any but we had a nice Rock Pipit on the rocks. We were going to catch the chain ferry over to Studland, but it wasn’t working so we had a quick look for Dartford Warblers at Ham Common NNR. Very quiet in birdlife there, but very busy with people. The beautiful sunset over the water made up for it though.

Lodmoor RSPB & Radipole Lake RSPB 19th January 2019

We went down to Dorset for my birthday weekend & we started at Lodmoor RSPB to see the Lesser Yellowlegs that had been present since November last year. We saw a few Lapwings, Oystercatchers, Curlews, Black-tailed Godwits & Ringed Plovers. We saw a nice Male Ruff feeding close to the path. A couple of Marsh Harriers were flying around the back of the reserve. We walked up to the viewing shelter to see what was there.

We spotted the Lesser Yellowlegs flying over the scrape. So we walked back up the west side of the reserve & saw it feeding with the Ruff giving us excellent views. Afterwards it flew towards the back of the lagoon & landed on the island.

In the afternoon we popped to Radipole Lake RSPB in Weymouth to look for the Ring-necked Duck. We managed to see it in the channel opposite Aldi and showed very well with a lot of patience.

We then went to Poole to the flat that we had rented for a few nights.



Lesser Yellowlegs [Winter]

Ruff [Male]

Lesser Yellowlegs & Ruff

Ring-necked Duck [Male]

Mediterranean Gull [Adult Winter]

Ring-necked Duck [Male]

Great Northern Diver [Juvenile]

Great Northern Diver [Winter]

Greenshank [Winter]

Avocet [Adult]

Red Squirrel

Peacock

Red-breasted Merganser [Male]

Great Black-backed Gull

Rock Pipit [Winter]

Sika Deer [Male]

Sika Deer [Female]

Little Egret [Winter]

Great White Egret [Winter]

Green Woodpecker [Male]

Little Egret [Winter]

Ring-necked Parakeet [Male]

Mediterranean Gull [Adult Moulting]

Ring-necked Parakeet [Female]

Waders at sunset

Grey Heron [Juvenile]

Lesser Yellowlegs [Winter]

Herring Gull [2nd Winter]

Mediterranean Gull [2nd Winter]

Carrion Crow dropping a Mussel  

Mediterranean Gull [Juvenile]

Mediterranean Gull [Adult Moulting]

Saturday 23rd February 2019

We went Cornwall for Mum’s birthday and on the way popped in to the National Nature Reserve at Yarner Woods to look for Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. We had look at the feeders from the Pond hide, to see what was there. Loads of Chaffinches feeding on the feeders & on the floor. A Nuthatch also came down to the feeders. When we first arrived, there was 2 Siskins feeding on Sunflower seeds. They both flew off, before we had our cameras ready. We had a walk around to see if the Woodpeckers were about, as they had been showing earlier that morning. There was nothing much about, apart from a few Lesser Redpoll feeding high in trees. A couple of Bracket Fungus were by the footpath. The only Woodpecker we saw during our visit was a Great Spotted. We went to the other bird hide with feeders. There were more Chaffinches, Coal, Blue, Great & Marsh Tits all feeding in front of the hide. Afterwards we made our way into Cornwall.

Cornwall 23rd-26th February 2019

Nuthatch [Adult]

Coal Tit [Adult]

Marsh Tit [Adult]

Sunday 24th February 2019

We started our first full day in Cornwall with a visit to Ryan's Field RSPB in Hayle. I saw a Stoat ran past in front of the hide briefly when we first arrived. A Kingfisher was perched on a wire, also saw another fly in & landed on a bush. In amongst the Black-headed Gulls was a moulting Mediterranean Gull. Afterwards, it disppeared with some of the Black-headed Gulls out to the estuary. The Spoonbill was on the far island of pool with a Grey Heron & Little Egret. The Dunlin were huddled together a group, before they flew out to the estuary. A couple of Black-tailed Godwits & a few Curlews were also seen from the hide, but no Bar-tailed Godwits this year. We walked over to have a look on the estuary. A Little Egret was feeding in a small pond. On the estuary was Common Redshank, Curlew, Teal, Euraisan Wigeon, Rock Pipit & loads of Black-headed Gulls. A few Mute Swans dropped in to Ryan's Field RSPB from the estuary.

We headed down to Penzance for the Purple Sandpipers. The birds showed very well perched on the rocks near Jubilee Pool. The Sanderlings were on the beach chasing the waves and were also being chased by the waves. A Male Black Redstart appeared on the rocks with the Purple Sandpipers. A few Turnstones were foraging on the rocks & beach by Jubilee Pool. We had a quick look in Newlyn Harbour. There was nothing in the harbour this year, except for a Cormorant of the race 'Sinensis.' We headed to Cape Cornwall in St Just to look for Choughs. We didn't have any luck there, so we headed to Botatallck which was made famous by the TV Series "Poldark". We saw at least 4 Choughs briefly,but unfortunately didn't hang around for long periods. We finished at Marazion Beach, watching some more Sanderlings foraging & chasing the waves. We stopped to look in the reedbeds but no Starlings came in to roost this year, nor did we see the Glossy Ibis which had been roosting there. We did see a few Grey Herons nesting in the reeds like they do at Ham Wall.

Spoonbill

Dunlin [Flock]

Black-tailed Godwit [Winter]

Little Egret [Winter]

Common Redshank [Winter]

Curlew [Adult]

Sanderling [Flock]

Black Redstart [Male]

Herring Gull [Summer Pair]

Turnstone [Winter]

Chough [Pair]

Continental Cormorant [Adult-Sinensis]

 

Sanderling [Flock]

Sanderling [Winter]

Sanderling [Winter]

Monday 25th February 2019

We went back to Ryan's Field RSPB in Hayle this morning. The Spoonbill was still showing well on the far island. We saw a young Gull on one of the islands &  I couldn't make out what species it was. I thought proably Caspian Gull, but then I had a thought it might be either a Lesser Black-backed Gull or Yellow-legged Gull. A few Common Redshanks were in front of the hide. We drove up along Copperhouse Creek, but as it was high tide there were no Waders. We saw some Eurasian Wigeon & a Curlew. We went back to Penzance near Jubilee Pool for some better views of Purple Sandpipers. There were some Turnstones on the rocks bathing. They were joined by a Purple Sandpiper, before they all flew over to the rocks by the harbour wall. A flock of Sanderlings flew in & joined them on the rocks. As the tide retreated out, the Sanderlings dropped down onto the beach. A Rock Pipit was foraging by the pool for insects. We went back to Botallack to for Choughs. We saw some fly past, sadly didn't land at all. We had unexpected bonus of seeing a Painted Lady Butterfly, this was my earliest record for this species in Britain. We went to the Lizard Point to look for the Choughs there. We saw a couple of Rabbits. On the beach were a few Rock Pipits. We had a cup of tea in the cafe there and sat outside in the sun. It was hard to believe it was February as the weather was so nice. Loads of House Sparrows were calling around the area. A couple of Carrion Crows were seen near Kynance Cove. Finally, we popped to Windmill Farm to see if there was any Hen Harriers about. We only saw a Pheasant, Rabbits and a Common Toad.

Purple Sandpiper [Winter]

Yellow-legged Gull [2nd Winter]

Common Redshank [Winter]

Rock Pipit [Winter]

Painted Lady

Rabbit [Juvenile]

Rock Pipit [Winter]  

Sanderling [Flock]

Sanderling [Pair]

Botallack Mines as featured in the TV Series “Poldark”

Tuesday 26th February 2019

Our final in Cornwall began at Devoran Quay look for the Lesser Yellowlegs. It was another sunny warm day. We saw a Common Redshank foraging around the moored boats. Later the Lesser Yellowlegs flew into Quay. This 1st Winter had been present since October 2018. As the tide started to go out & more mud was exposed, the Lesser Yellowlegs & the Common Redshank started feeding away from the moored boats. A flock of Dunlin were feeding nearby. We moved to St Clement near Truro for lunch. We had a bit of of walk along the edge Tresillian River. We saw Curlews, Grey Heron, Greenshank, Common Redshank, Little Egret & a bonus sighting of 6 Cattle Egrets. We had a quick look for Short-eared Owls at Trevose Head, but had no luck. We saw a Raven & a couple of Stonechats. Our last port of call of the Cornwall weekend was Chapel Amble. A couple of good birds were seen on the flooded meadow were Green Sandpiper & Temmick's Stint. We couldn't stay & wait for the Barn Owl to show, as we still had a long drive back to Bristol. A great weekend and I think Mum really enjoyed herself.


Lesser Yellowlegs [1st Winter]

Cattle Egret [Flock]

Cattle Egret [Adult Winter]

Greenshank [Winter]

Stonechat [Female]

Stonechat [Male]

Cattle Egret [Winter]

St Clements, near Truro

Somerset Levels 2nd February 2019.

We popped down to the Somerset Levels, as it was a nice day. We went to Shapwick Heath NNR & to Noah's Lake Hide. There were loads of Wigeon on the lake & a few Cormorants in the tree. A couple of Marsh Harriers flew over the reedbeds. We saw a couple of Long-tailed Tits flitting through the bushes below the hide. A Great White Egret landed in the reeds. A Grey Heron flew in & landed in front of the hide. Moments later, the Great White Egret took off from the reedbed & flew left past the hide. Near the hide we saw a Goldcrest & Treecreeper feeding with the Tit Flock. On our way back to the car park, me & Mum popped into Meare Heath Hide. Some Marsh Harriers were displaying over the reedbeds. Suddenly a Bittern appeared flew over the reeds & disappeared. By the old the canal, a couple of Stonechats perched on a gate post.



 


Garden, Yate
1st February 2019

A very snowy start to the beginning of February, meant we couldn't go anywhere, so we stayed at home & I photographed the birds coming to the garden. We had Chaffinches, Blackbirds, Fieldfares, Common Starlings, Goldfinches, Pied Wagtails, Redwings & Blackcaps.

Fieldfare

Redwing  

Blackbird [Male]

Blackcap [Female]

Long-tailed Tit [Adult]

Great White Egret [Winter]

Grey Heron [Adult]

Grey Heron [Adult]

Bittern

Stonechat [Male]  

Marsh Harrier [Female]

Great White Egret [Winter]

Kemerton Lakes NNR
3rd February 2019

We headed up to Kemerton Lakes NNR to see the Male Smew. This bird had been present for about a week & was one of the birds that was seen on a mill pond in Holt, Worcestershire during December/January. Even though it was distant, it was lovely bird to see.

Smew [Male]

©  Christopher Teague 2019