Wednesday, 28 October 2015

RSPB Arne :: 27 October 2015

Again on our own waiting for eldest daughter to finish for the day. We decided to head over to RSPB Arne but on getting to the site the rain crashed down; no way to start a walk round the reserve, even if it started through woodland. Off we went to Corfe Castle, well to see the castle of course but also to grab an early lunch. Rain was due to clear by around 1.00pm and a window of 2hrs dry would allow us to make a quick circuit of the reserve.

Getting back to the reserve the rain had indeed stopped and off we set. Sika deerThe first sighting we had was of grey squirrels; normally we might have been taken with them but we had been spoilt with reds the day before. So many squirrels in singles and up to fours. Then we passed fields and woods containing sika deer. They seemed quite happy when feeding at the other end of fields but when we encountered groups in the woods they were obviously keen to maintain an acceptable distance from us.

Good ranges of habitat from woodland, then moorland, then coastal, then moorland and then back to woodland. From the coastal turn we started seeing all manner of birds with goldcrest being added to the year list. BramblingFrom the Visitor Centre we also noted siskin and brambling in the fading light around the feeders. Some firecrests were leading some birders a merry dance around the car park but we unfortunately had to get on our way before catching up with them ourselves.

Well worth coming back again soon.

Sighting (28) included: woodpigeon, brent goose, little egret, oystercatcher, mallard, redshank, wren, carrion crow, black-tailed godwit, black-headed gull, cormorant, great black-backed gull, herring gull, nuthatch, curlew, coal tit, great tit, chaffinch, magpie, starling, goldcrest, long-tailed tit, robin, greenfinch, siskin, brambling, blue tit and dunnock.

Brownsea Island :: 26 October 2015

Our eldest was off to her course at University for the morning and so we had an early breakfast and headed for the ferry to Brownsea Island. The weather was overcast but it was not due to rain. A smooth crossing on the 10.00am boat and paid up for the pleasure of landing.

From the Visitors Centre we could see across a bay where hundreds of Avocet and Black-tailed godwitsavocets and black-tailed godwits were sleeping and feeding; at one point the flocks were flushed an showed in quite a spectacular take-off and landing. Near the front, feeding in the shallows was spotted redshank, a life tick. On into the site and a detour around into the Dorset Wifelike Trust Reserve. Quite a few red squirrels appeared and were a joy all the way round. From one hide we had views of the visiting spoonbills, 35 in total. Groups of curlew, dunlin and oystercatchers congregated in numbers.

Wherever there were feeders they appeared to be inundated by Red squirrelcoal tits; there didn't appear to be any other species! We also watched red squirrels hijacking the bounty, quite acrobatically at times.

Before embarking on the ferry to return we had lunch in the National Trust Cafe. Good food. An amazing place to visit and now one of my favourites.

Sightings (32) included: teal, avocet, spoonbill, black-tailed godwit, shelduck, shoveler, brent goose, dunlin, mallard, wigeon, little egret, turnstone, oystercatcher, cormorant, great black-backed gull, lesser black-backed gull, magpie, curlew, woodpigeon, grey heron, black-headed gull, moorhen, carrion crow, wren, gadwall, spotted redshank, redshank, coal tit, great tit, chaffinch, robin and tufted duck.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Draycote Water :: 17 October 2015

After a frustrating morning had a relaxed stroll around Draycote Water. The cool breeze was quite a contrast to the last time I was there. Meadow pipitHaving no coins for parking I was forced to visit the shop and buy a Twix - my story and I am sticking to it. Charms of goldfinch and flocks of meadow pipit on the grass slopes near the main visitor centre started the visit off well. On the water there were great congregations of tufted ducks, great-crested grebe and coot; later I was to find some of this was due to Toft Shallows being almost dry, most visible when viewing from the hide.

Never have I seen so many little grebes, in singles and in groups of up to 10. Little grebeOnly my second green woodpecker of the year was seen through the railings into the water treatment facility on the far side from the Visitor Centre. Met Sarah and Jeremy Vasey at the halfway point for a short chat - nice to bump into people in unexpected places.

Turned out to be a good decision to go but unfortunately didn't see the rock pipit or common sandpiper. Maybe moved on or just keeping out of my way.

Sightings (32) included: mallard, mute swan, tufted duck, meadow pipit, reed bunting, blue tit, goldfinch, blackbird, pied wagtail, dunnock, robin, starling, little grebe, woodpigeon, cormorant, carrion crow, great-crested grebe, black-headed gull, magpie, great tit, long-tailed tit, lesser black-backed gull, green woodpecker, little egret, grey heron, common gull, rook, moorhen, teal, wren, canada goose and greylag goose.