Friday, 13 April 2018

On Forest & Dorset - Day Out.

Firecrest - Central New Forest - March 2018
Belated Post:

Arrival back from Thailand was nice enough with better weather then when I departed, the following  morning was out on Forest with Mike where Gos and Firecrest provided some "back to UK birding with a bump" then shortly after Stuart P was over from Aus and had planned to spend a few days at mine. It was great, as it always is to See Stuart and we just picked up where we last left off back in Brisbane in 2012. 

Stuart was keen to do some British winter birding and asked what was on offer locally, I gave him the run down and the following morning we headed out.

First stop was on Forest with the first species of the day being a small group of Hawfinches feeding on the ground, seeing as Stuart was keen to try and get some photos I decided to leave my camera in the bag allowing Stuart prime position as I didn't want to be trying to get a shot and getting in Stuart's way.

Second Stop: The feeding station where both Marsh & Coal Tits showed well and posed for the obligatory shots.

Third Stop: We moved on to another site on forest and a stroll through the woods provided a pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, first heard, then a female landed on a tree close-by, then joined by a male of which commenced drumming - now I wished I hadn't left my camera behind. 

Fourth Stop: Central forest where Firecrest was added to the day list of wanted species. By now it was mid morning and we had to move on as Stuart wanted to see the Purple Sandpipers and so we had to connect with the tide. 

A short drive down the A35 and we were at Hengistbury Head, Christchurch. A walk down and along the beach checking all the groynes finally provided us with 28 Purple Sandpipers. This is my highest count of this species of all time. 

Purple Sandpiper 1 of 28 - Hengistbury Head, Christchurch - March 2018

Morden Bog looking towards the Decoy Pond - March 2018

By now it was early afternoon and the day was passing fast, next stop, stop five and we were now at Morden Bog. It was a dry day but the blue sky of the morning was long gone and cloud was sinking lower by the hour. Here, our target species was Great Grey Shrike of which two had been present of late. 

We checked around the area of the decoy pond but with no luck. We climbed to a high point in order to allow a better viewing of a larger area, still no luck but a male Hen Harrier flying through was a nice sighting. We continued to search and continued walking when we located the Great Grey Shrike a long long way off, We managed to work out the area that it was in and so we made our way down and around to the site where we failed miserably at the start to relocate this bird but then got lucky and had it at a nice close range. By now the last light of the day was fading and we decided to call it a day and a successful one at that. 

Stuart searching for the Great Grey Shrike - Morden Bog - March 2018

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