26th – 30th November – omg it’s almost Christmas!   Leave a comment

I went into Poole today to meet Margaret for lunch and found the town in full Christmas shopping mode. We have already received our first Christmas card and it’s still only November! To be fair we have done a little Christmas shopping already and have made plans what we will do over the festive period, so I suppose we are as bad as anyone else.

The Dolphin Centre at Poole

The Dolphin Centre at Poole

Earlier this week on the 26th I had an early morning panic call from Amber, she had missed her school bus again. I took pity on her and took her to Wareham. I had hoped to carry on to Middlebere for some birding but rain had set in, so first I went to East Holme to see if there were any waterfowl on the flooded meadows. On arrival I found the floods were so deep that diving duck rather than the expected dabblers would have been at home there.

The Frome Valley west of Wareham

We haven’t has as much flooding as parts of the UK but he Frome Valley west of Wareham is completely flooded.

At East Holme the floods almost reached the road.

At East Holme the floods almost reached the road.

The water was pouring into a culvert under the road.....

The water was pouring into a culvert under the road…..

...before pouring down the side road.

…before cascading down the side road.

Looks like a boating lake rather than a field.

Looks like a boating lake rather than a field.

I later called in a Holton Lee, last winters ringing site on the opposite side of the river from Holton Lee. From the shelter of the hide I watched tits, Robins, Dunnocks, Chaffinches and Nuthatches coming to the feeders. A good number were ringed, presumably birds we ringed last winter showing a good survival in the intervening months. I had hoped to renew permission but the guy I needed to speak to was off site.

On the 27th I heard that Janis was under the weather and Amber needed someone to take her to a parent-teachers meeting. Margaret was at choir so for the first time in my life I attended one of these functions. Due to all the changes of plan we were late arriving, but some of the teachers stayed behind to talk to us. Discovering that you are a grandfather late in life brings lots of new experiences.

PB271029-garden

The view from our house, at long last the weather has started to improve.

The 29th was a glorious day, cold but sunny, a real wintry treat. After weeks of rain it was essential that I got out and enjoyed the day. I chose Middlebere again, party because its such a good area and partly because the two Ruddy Shelduck had been seen there earlier in the week. Ruddy Shelduck are neither accepted as a wild vagrant to the UK (with the exception of some old records) nor are they accepted as an established feral population (in spite of the fact that 400+ gather to moult in Holland each summer) so wouldn’t count for my year list even if I had seen them. As it was I had a lovely day out in the Arne / Middlebere area, seeing nothing rarer than some Spoonbills, a Marsh Harrier or a Merlin, but have a really nice time.

Hartland Moor. Clearing old growth gorse helps to rejuvenate the heathland

Hartland Moor. Clearing old growth gorse helps to rejuvenate the heathland.

The reed bed just of Middlebere creek is a great place to look for Marsh Harrier.

The reed bed just of Middlebere creek is a great place to look for Marsh Harrier.

Wytch Creek from the 'harrier hide'

Wytch Creek from the ‘harrier hide’

PB291036-Arne

Arne, looking towards Middlebere and Wytch creeks.

13 Spoonbills at Shipstal Point

13 Spoonbills at Shipstal Point

Sika Deer are abundant in the Poole Harbour area and are tame and easy to see at Arne

Sika Deer are abundant in the Poole Harbour area and are tame and easy to see at Arne

Posted November 30, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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