Sunday, 24 November 2019

Buff B's at Davidstow - September 2019.

Buff-Breasted Sandpiper adult - Davidstow airfield, Cornwall - September 2019

During September 2019 news came through of an adult Buff B at Davidstow airfield, Cornwall, without further a do I was checking the route and decided to head off that evening, the reason I was so keen to move on a Buff B of which I have seen very many since the first I saw, an adult in July 1986 at Cley was because during 2017 I was hoping for a Buff B or two to turn up at Davidstow but I didn't make it down that way as I pretty certain it was a blank year at Davidstow for Buff B's during 2017. That evening Stevie B rang me to see if I wanted to join him for the Brown Booby in Cornwall, I decided not to go for the Brown Booby as I have seen several in the WP previously and so I wanted to just enjoy the Buff B moment at Davidstow. it had been a long time since I was last at Davidstow airfield and just after first light I arrived on site to a very blustery but dry morning. An initial search of the area didnt bode well as no sign bt shortly after around 09.00 there was the adult Buff B foraging in the grass verge of the runway. Stevie B turned up later after securely bagging the Brown Booby and we settled in and enjoyed this Buff at close range. We left the cars all going for the pincer movement and as we sat by the old derelict building having a cuppa a lone wade flew in closely and landed right infront fo us, we looked around and saw that there was no other cars insights nearby so we just allowed this individual to feed up close by as it walked right in front of the car. Job done, Steve decided to move on and head back to the south east whilst I stayed on site until late afternoon, overnighted locally and returned the following morning for a few hours during the morning to get some of this great bird before I decided to get back on the road by 10.00 and the next stop was Dorset. 

As the days and weeks rolled in more Buff B's were located at Davidstow with 4 being the highest count I can recall, then when news of a juvenile being present I couldn't resist a second run but this time the Misus decided to join me and we set off early from Dorset and as dawn broke on a Sunday morning we were treated to another close showing by yet another Buff B but this time a nice fresh juvenile. Also present a faded juv Curlew Sandpiper, several Dunlin and Ringed Plover and by 10.00 we were back on the road be in Lyme Regis for lunch. These two Buff B's took my British & Irish tally to over 40 individual Buff B's and still can't tire of them and i'm still prepared to travel for them. 
Buff-Breasted Sandpiper adult - Davidstow airfield, Cornwall - September 2019
Buff-Breasted Sandpiper juvenile- Davidstow airfield, Cornwall - September 2019
Curlew Sandpiper juvenile, Davidstow Airfield-Cornwall - September 2019

Buff-Breasted Sandpiper juvenile - Davidstow airfield, Cornwall - September 2019

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Grey Phalarope - Stanpit Marsh - Christchurch Harbour - Dorset.

Grey Phalarope-Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch, Dorset-September 2019

News came out on Sunday that a Buff B had been found at Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch Harbour, Dorset, I was keen to go but having other commitments I hoped that the bird would hang around on site to the following day, having seen two Buff B's already this autumn, an adult and a juvenile both at Davidstow Airfield, North Cornwall each bird on a different occasion but I would still like to see one in Dorset. News also came out later on Sunday that the Buff B had departed flying high to the east and so the pressure was off but the presence of two Grey Phalaropes was enough for me to make plans for the following day.

Arrival on site was welcomed by a nice dawn sunrise which quickly turned in to an overcast morning, The Grey Phalarope was soon located on the marsh in front of the visitor centre but appeared to be nervous and flighty, quite often taking flight to other pool's on the marsh before flying beyond and behind the visitor centre. It took a while to locate the bird but it was picked up in flight with two Greenshank. It was on the pools behind the visitor centre where it settled and remained for several hours allowing constant viewing and relatively close views at times. 

It was nice to bump into Jeremy and we caught up with recent going-on's etc, birders & photographers came and went but we remained on site waiting for that usual "Grey Phalarope swim-by" which at around 11.30 happened with some cracking close views of this individual. By 12.30 the high tide had came in and flooded out the area making the Grey Phalarope more distant and so we decided to call it time

Dawn Sunrise -Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch, Dorset-September 2019

Grey Phalarope-Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch, Dorset-September 2019

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Long billed Dowitcher - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset - September 2019.

Long-billed Dowitcher juv - Lodmoor RSPB, Weymouth, Dorset - September 2019

Just a quick post of the Long billed Dowitcher recently at Lodmoor RSPB, after several observations, some good, some not so good & some brief yesterday allowed nearly full five hours of constant viewing, however the light and weather wasn't always conducive for photography & videography but a welcomed treat all the same. This nicely marked juvenile is already showing signs of moult to 1st winter but still a rather smartly plumaged individual. 

Sunday, 2 June 2019

May 2019.

Stone Curlew - 01st May 2019
Avocet - flag ringed AJ - Fishtail lagoon - Keyhaven - 03rd & 10th May 2019
Avocet - flag ringed AJ - Fishtail lagoon -Keyhaven - 03rd & 10th May 2019

For some it is September, others it is October but for me, the month I look forward more to  than any other is the month of May, the weather is usually warming, the sky is getting bluer by the day, the forest comes alive and then there is the arrival of that species that "chases thermals" and so this how the month of May panned out for me.

Stone Curlew - 1 - 01st 

Curlew Sandpiper - 2 - Fishtail Lagoon - 03rd 

Sanderling - 1- Fishtail Lagoon - 15th 

Dunlin - 120+ Fishtail Lagoon - 03rd & a colour ringed individual wearing a yellow alphanumeric darvic ring -31st

Knot - 1- Fishtail Lagoon - 31st

Ruff - 7 - Fishtail Lagoon - 15th

Redshank 19 Fishtail Lagoon - 19th

Bar-tailed Godwit  1 - Fishtail Lagoon - 03rd

Red-necked Phalarope - 1 female - Fishtail Lagoon - 31st

Gull Billed Tern - 1 ad - Fishtail Lagoon - 31st 

Little Gull - 1s - Fishtail Lagoon - 23rd

Montague's Harrier 1 -  Between Bialowiez Forest & Minsk - 01st 

Hobby - 1- New Forest - 21st 

Guilemot - Dancing Ledge - Isle of Purbeck - Dorset -17th 

Razorbill  Dancing Ledge - Isle of Purbeck - Dorset - 17th

Puffin - 5+  Dancing Ledge - Isle of Purbeck - Dorset - 17th 

Spoonbill - Fishtail Lagoon - 5- 03rd & 4-15th

Nightjar - 2 - New Forest-15th & 23rd

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - 1 watched carrying food several times - New Forest - 12th

Wood Warbler - 2-3 New Forest including a colour ringed individual - 10th

Yellow Wagtail - 1- Fishtail Lagoon - 03rd

Bison - 2 - Bialowiez Forest 01st 

And so now it is about trying to find those "Thermal Chasers" over the next 13 weeks.

Common Tern - keyhaven lagoon, Pennington May 2019
Little Tern - Normandy lagoon, Pennington 03rd & 10th May 2019
Little Tern - Normandy lagoon, Pennington 03rd & 10th May 2019

Old Harry Rocks - Isle of Purbeck - Dorset - May 2019 
Puffin - Dancing Ledge - Isle of Purbeck - Dorset - May 2019 
Puffin - Dancing Ledge - Isle of Purbeck - Dorset - May 2019 
Razorbill - Dancing Ledge - Isle of Purbeck - Dorset - May 2019 
Spoonbill - Fishtail Lagoon - Keyhaven- 03rd May 2019
Fishtail Lagoon - Pennington -Keyhaven - 03rd May 2019
Wood Warbler - New Forest 10th May 2019
Cuckoo - New Forest - May 2019
Dartford Warbler - New Forest - May 2019

Friday, 31 May 2019

Fishtail Lagoon - Keyhaven - 31st May 2019

Fishtail Lagoon - Keyhaven - May 2019

Today started off sat at a view point on forest waiting for a lift out, whilst sat there enjoying a cuppa late morning a message came through of a Red-necked Phalarope at Fishtail Lagoon, Keyhaven. Seeing as the morning shift was over I decided to head down through the forest to Pennington, hopefully see the Phalarope early and then head back for the afternoon showing on forest. 

All went pretty much to plan and after getting some nice views of the smart looking Red Necked Phalarope I decided to head back, however just as I arrived at the sea wall car park another message came through but this time in stating that there was now a Gull-billed Tern on Fishtail, so I walked back half expecting hat the Tern had flown I was more than surprised to see it sat roosting up and so a pretty good afternoon. 

Also present was a Knot, LRP's, Dunlin & a Marsh Harrier.

Red Necked Phalarope - Fishtail Lagoon - Keyhaven - May 2019

Friday, 10 May 2019

April - 2019

Wood Warbler - Bialowieza Forest-April 2019

Highlights this month included:

Stone Curlew - 1 - 01st

Dotterel - 2 - 1 male, 1 female, Cheesefoot Head, Winchester - 07th & 08th

Golden Plover - 2 - Cheesefoot Head, Winchester - 08th & 18 - 14th

Wood Sandpiper - 4 - Bialowiez Forest Marsh-29th & 14- 30th

Green Sandpiper - 4 - Bialowiez Forest Marsh-2 - 29th & 3 - 30th

Common Sandpiper - 1 - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset - 20th

Greenshank - 1 -  Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset - 20th

Lesser Yellowlegs - 1- Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset - 13th & 20th with the 20th being the last day that this individual was present at Lodmoor RSPB, I spent over 20 visits watching this North American Tringa since its arrival last autumn.

Woodcock - 2 - Bialowiez Forest - 30th

Garganey - 1 male - Bialowiez Forest - 30th

Hazel Grouse - 2- Bialowiez Forest - 30th

Black Stork - 1 Bialowiez Forest - 30th

White Stork - 30+ Bialowiez Forest - 29th & 30th

Lesser Spotted Eagle - 1-Bialowiez Forest 30th

Greater Spotted Eagle - 1 - Bialowiez Forest - 29th

Marsh Harrier - 1 male Bialowiez Forest - 29th & 30th

Hobby - 1 Bialowiez Forest Plain - 29th

Common Crane - 8+ Bialowiez Forest 29th & 12+ 30th

Guilemot - 6+ - Portland Bill, Dorset - 21st

Fulmar - 8 - West Bay - 13th & 2 Portland Bill, Dorset- 21st

Wheatear - 1 - Cheesefoot Head, Winchester - 08th

House Martin - 3 - Cheesefoot Head, Winchester - 08th, 6 Poundbury, Dorset - 21st

Yellow Hammer - 4 - Poundbury, Dorset - 21st

Nightingale - 1 - Singing White Nothe, Dorset - 21st

Great Grey Owl - 4 ads, 5 chicks - Bialoweiz Forest - 30th & 2 ads & 2 chicks 30th

Pygmy Owl - 1 - at a nest Bialowiez Forest-29th

Tawny Owl - Bialowiez Forest 29th & 30th

Hoopoe - 1 Bialowiez Forest - 29th

Black Woodpecker - 1 Bialowiez Forest - 30th

Grey Headed Woodpecker 2-3 - 29th & 3 - 30th Bialowiez Forest

White Backed Woodpecker - 1 Bialowiez Forest- 30th

Wood Warbler - many 29th &- 30th

Hooded Crow - 1- Bialowiez Forest - 29th

Savi's Warbler - (H) Radipole Lake RSPB, Dorset - 21st, 1 (H) Bialowiez Forest- 30th 

Beaver - 1 Bialowiez Forest - 29th

Elk - 1 29th & 1 30th

Bison - 1- 29th

Lesser Yellowlegs - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset, April 2019

Wood Warbler - Bialowiez Forest - April 2019

Wood WarblerBialowiez Forest - April 2019

Pygmy Owl - at the nest - Bialowiez Forest - April 2019

Elk - 1 of 2 seen Bialowiez Forest - April 2019

Bison - 1 of 3 seen at Bialowiez Forest - April 2019

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Great Grey Owl's - Bialowieza Forest - April 2019.

Great Grey Owl - Site 1 - Bialowiez Forest - April 2019.

Great Grey Owl - 1- The photo above shows an artificial nest box with a female Great Grey Owl present, however as you can see this is hardly the views you want to settle for. Whilst watching this individual you could see when the bird was moving and shuffling around but I never saw any more of this individual than the photo actually shows. 

So this mini trip was all about one species as there has been a void where a Great Grey Owl should be, I had actually been advised by Andy A that Belarus was a reliable place to see Great Grey Owls and with relative ease. 
Great Grey Owl - Site 2 - Bialowiez Forest - April 2019.

Great Grey Owl - 2 - Was everything that you would want it to be with a nice clear viewing area looking on to the nest tree with a female present at a natural nest with 3 chicks observed in the nest and we also observed this female feeding the chicks. The light was very strong on this day but the viewing conditions were pretty much perfect and we spent around 5 hours with this individual. 

Area of nest site of Great Grey Owl in Bialowiez Forest - April 2019

Great Grey Owl - Site 3 - Bialowiez Forest - April 2019.
Great Grey Owl - 3 - Was totally different situation with the female sat out in the open of a tree close to the nest tree, the nest contained 2 chicks of which the female had a close visual on the chicks at all times. This female called frequently for the male to bring in food for the chicks. The chicks called regularly to the female for food and at one point the male came in closeby with prey but not close enough for us to see unfortunately. 
Great Grey Owl female after receiving prey from male at nest site 3 - Bialowiez Forest - April 2019.

Great Grey Owl - 1 of 2 chicks present at nest site 3 - Bialowiez Forest - April 2019.

Great Grey Owl - site 4 - Bialowiez Forest - April 2019.

Great Grey Owl - 4 - Female present near nest but the male has not been observed for nearly two weeks and it is believed that this could be a failed nest this year.