17th April – Mordon Bog   Leave a comment

I had been looking forwards today. The forecast gave southerly winds and heavy rain clearing by mid-morning. This should have been ideal for seawatching from Portland Bill, but a quick call to the Observatory before I left indicated that the rain had already cleared and the winds were now westerly and hadn’t produced very much, so I decided to stay local. By the end of the day they had amassed a good number of Bonxies (Great Skuas) but not, considering the time of year, a lot else.

I ended up at the Sherford Bridge / Mordon Bog area, but was unable to find the Hobbys, Cuckoos and Tree Pipits that had been seen by others in recent days. All was not lost as I saw a couple of Crossbills, a Raven, heard a Woodlark and had a few Swallow pass by. The woodland areas allowed me to photograph a Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Mistle Thrush.

Decoy Pond lies in the middle of heathland and usually supports a couple of pairs of Tufted Duck and Little Grebes. It is not to be confused with the nearby but much larger, Mordon Park Lake, which is surrounded by dense deciduous woodland.

The remnants of Decoy Cottage. When I first started birding in this area 33 years ago the cottage was intact, yet abandoned. It is said that the ghost of the last owner still walks the forest!

With grey skies and intermittent rain, most birds were silent, except of course several Mistle Thrushes which were living up to their old name of 'Storm Cock'.

This Treecreeper seemed oblivious to my presence.

A male Goldcrest raising its crest in display.

It remained cold and windy all day. The temperatures are at least 10 C lower than they were last month and migration, which seemed so promising in late March, has ground to a halt. With reports of bad weather to the south and even snow in Morocco, this is perhaps not surprising. A transient desert lake on the fringes of the Moroccan Sahara was bone dry in mid-March but measured 10km by 3km and had diving Little Grebes on it two weeks ago!

Posted April 19, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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