April 29th – May 9th – at last a post that’s not about Israel!   Leave a comment

Over the last week and half I have made four or five ringing trips either to PC World drain or Durlston, none have been particularly successful. A run of cold northerlies and clear nights has not induced many migrant birds and a change of weather at the weekend brought coastal fog. Are efforts haven’t been totally in vain as we have re-trapped a number of Whitethroats from previous years showing breeding site fidelity in a sub-Saharan migrant. Keeping going though the less productive winter and spring months has also allowed three of our trainee ringers to gain sufficient experience to apply for their C permits, which means they will be able to ring unsupervised but their trainer will still be in overall control of their ringing activities.

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Early morning fog was not what we wanted at Durlston, but it was very atmospheric.

I have made several birding trips to Lytchett Bay, where the Red-throated Diver and Little Gull previously reported were seen again but one of the most interesting outings was our attempt to see, or at least hear a Savi’s Warbler on the edge of Wareham Channel near Holton Lee. Heard earlier in the day by Dave Chown whilst doing a Water Rail survey, this is a very scarce visitor to Dorset. Several of us who had permits to visit this private area gathered in the evening to assess the practicality of arranging a twitch, which the owners indicated they would agree to if it was practical. In the end we failed to even hear the bird and assumed it must have moved on, but a twitch would have been hard to organise, as we had to walk though deep mud on the edge of Wareham Channel and this was only passable at low tide.

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Walking along the shore of Wareham Channel ……

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.. and then we had to find away through this very wet marsh. No sign of the Savi’s but we did see an Osprey and a Marsh Harrier and several groups of Whimbrel.

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At the weekend Margaret and I had a wander around Mordon Bog in Wareham Forest. There weren’t birds around but Cuckoo and Tree Pipit were highlights.

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Margaret at Mordon Bog

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On Bank Holiday Monday, the girls wanted to go to the beach at Sandbanks. This was the same day I was fog bound at Durlston. The fog seemed to have cleared on my way back but once be drove down to Sandbanks we found I was wrong.

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Although the sun almost broke through, it remained quite cool. A shame as most of the country had the hottest day of the year. Amber, Janis and Margaret at Sandbanks.

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Kara playing ‘catch’

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A number of straps secured between posts provided great fun for the girls.

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Amber struggles to stay on ….

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Evan John got in on the act but I couldn’t stay on long enough for any photos to be taken!

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I made a couple of visits to Portland in search of seabirds. The most successful was today (9th). Although very strong winds were forecast they didn’t materialise until the afternoon, after I had gone home, but I did see a Pomarine and Great Skuas, lots of Arctic Terns and a few Manx Shearwaters.

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I wasn’t the only birder seeking seabirds at the Bill

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All attempts to photograph seabirds failed except for this Cormorant taking off close to the Bill. Interestingly the shape of the greenish gular patch is diagnostic of the Atlantic nominate race, which is exactly what you would expect.

Posted May 9, 2013 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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