Naturelog: 20th May

Posted: May 26, 2015 in Birds, Dorset, Natural History, UK
Tags: , , ,

Keith and I are in Dorset for a few days birdwatching. Arriving from London by train early afternoon we drop our bags and make our way to Radipole Lake RSPB reserve which forms part of the Wey estuary just before it enters into Weymouth harbour. The information centre is a good place for some initial idea of what birds are to be found in the area. On the lake near the centre are a few Mallard and Tufted Duck plus some Herring Gulls and Cormorants. Swallows swoop low over the lake and a Reed Warbler flies past the observation window.

Radipole RSPB reserve

Radipole RSPB reserve

We were just about to set out around the reserve, when news comes that the Purple Heron that has been roosting at the other local RSPB reserve Lodmoor, which is on the eastern edge of Weymouth has been seen on Overcombe Pools. So a quick decision to change our plans and head for Lodmoor. Birding on the way through the reserve we add a few species before arriving at the Overcombe end of the reserve. Joining one watcher, we find that he has not seen the bird. We eventually decide to walk around the reserve to view the pools from the other side. We find another birder here but he too has not seen the bird. We wait patiently for an hour and then decide to go and get something to eat and return in time to see it come to roost that evening. It has been very consistant during the 7 or so days it has been present coming to roost in the reed-bed between 9 and 9.30pm.

Overcombe Pools Lodmoor RSPB reserve

Overcombe Pools Lodmoor RSPB reserve

At 8.30 we at back on the reserve at a point where we have a panoramic view of the reed-bed. At 9.20 a bird in seen in flight from the Overcombe end and flies right past where are standing – excellent views and no doubts it was a Purple Heron. Only a handful of these birds are seen in the UK every year so to get such good views is amazing.

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
Purple Heron in flight
Photo by LIp Kee Yap (

Its a 2 mile walk back to our hotel but it is with a light step at such a fantastic beginning to our trip.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Purple Heron [sp] (Ardea purpurea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Lesser Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia curruca)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

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