18th – 22nd January – Dorset birding   Leave a comment

The birding over the last few days hasn’t been as succesful as earlier in the week.  On the 18th the Crane that was seen over Corfe Mullen recently was seen again flying over the Wareham by-pass. I spent the morning trying to relocate it but to no avail. On the 19th I spent the afternoon in the Sixpenny Handley / Wyke Down area in hope of a Merlin or Short-eared Owl. Again I had no luck but did see a Barn Owl on the drive back at dusk.

 

Sympathetic management of the Wyke Down area has made this area rich in wildlife, but no owls were visible today.

 

Saturday 20th saw the Poole Harbour Bird Count. This was an attempt to systematically count the birds of Poole Harbour and drew about 60 volunteers. Each area was allocated a team with a team leader to co-ordinate activities. My area was Holes Bay and the Creekmoor Ponds. I birder the latter in the morning, seeing a Firecrest and few other woodland birds plus a few common water birds on the ponds. Later I checked the wood at Upton, the waste ground near the railway line (which has been seriously damaged by off-road motor bikes) and saw a Black Redstart near to Poole Hospital.

 

Creekmoor Ponds: these two small ponds in the middle of a housing estate in Poole can be surprisingly good for birds.waterbird

 

I returned home as Margaret’s friend Helen was coming to lunch (and picking up our old TV) but was back at Holes Bay in the afternoon for the low tide waterbird count. It was very windy at it was difficult to hold the scope steady in such an exposed location, best birds were a group of 65 or so Avocets and a Common Sandpiper, which although a regular migrant is a scarce winter visitor and was new to my year list.

I ended the day counting Pied Wagtails coming to roost at Tescos by Ferrybridge. Later about 35 of the counters met at Mark and Mo Constantine’s house for an excellent social get together.

 

Mark and Mo Constantine photographed in 2009.

 

Margaret and I spent much of Sunday 22nd at Lyme Regis in the far west of Dorset searching for the elusive Spotted Sandpiper, the American equivalent of the Common Sandpiper I saw yesterday. In spite of looking along the Cobb and all along the shore in the company of John and Mo Down, we had no luck, but enjoyed being out on a spring-like day and having a fish and chips lunch in the traditional manner.

 

The view from Lyme Regis towards Charminster.

 

We waited for the tide to rise in the hope that the Spotted Sandpiper would return to the mouth of the River Lym, where it has been seen recently.

 

 

We may have missed the Spotted Sandpiper but this Rock Pipit posed nicely for photos.

Posted January 22, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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