Posts Tagged ‘Avocet’

Keith and I went on a trip with Bexley RSPB group down to the WWT at Slimbridge on the Bristol Channel. This is a wonderful reserve famed for its wintering Geese.

On arrival, we went to the Holden Tower and were soon watching Barnacle Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose and a Red-Breasted Goose.

Red-Breasted Goose

Greater White-fronted Goose

We then moved on to look out over the flooded fields and located a number of Bewick’s Swans and Common Crane along with other Wildfowl.

Common Crane

Bewick’s Swan (top), Eurasian Wigeon (centre left), Moorhen (centre right top), Shelduck (Centre right bottom), Eurasian Teal (bottom left), Tufted Duck (bottom right).

Northern Lapwing (top left), Pied Avocet (top right and centre right), Black-tailed Godwit (Bottom left) and Grey Heron (Bottom right)

Woodpigeon (top left), Rook (top right), Grey Heron (centre right), Jackdaw (bottom)

A long journey but a brilliant days birdwatching with some great views of species not normally seen in SE England.

Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater White-fronted Goose [sp] (Anser albifrons)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Tundra Swan [sp] (Cygnus columbianus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Crane (Grus grus)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Great Snipe (Gallinago media)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

 

Moorhen displaying

Moorhen displaying

Off to Minsmere in Suffolk with the local RSPB group. Minsmere is a wonderful collection of different habitats collected together on the Suffolk coast and has long been one of the RSPB’s premier reserves. It has grown over the years and it is almost impossible to cover all of it in a single day’s visit so rather than trying to do so, I decide to target certain species and visit specific locations in the hope of getting some photos.

 

Pheasant

Pheasant

Arriving at the reserve, I set off to the south scrape as this is where the best bird activity has been reported.

South scrape

South scrape

A patient wait is rewarded with views of Little Tern, Red Knot and Grey Plover – although all too distant for photography.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Pied Avocet

Pied Avocet

From here I make my way to Island Mere hide. On the way a Western Marsh-harrier quarters the reads not far away and the wood is full of bird song. A brief diversion is made as a warden has located a basking Minotaur Beetle, which sits happily as photographers take their turn to record it.

Minotaur Beetle

Minotaur Beetle

The distinctive call of a Common Cuckoo is heard as I approach the hide.

Island Mere surrounded by reed-bed

Island Mere surrounded by reed-bed

This is to be a stop of brief views as both Eurasian Bittern and Bearded Reedling are seen in flight but do not linger in view before disappearing into the reed-bed. Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Cetti’s Warblers provide a constant musical background – all unseen from within the reed-bed. A hunting Eurasian Hobby is seen over the reeds and there is constant activity from the Marsh-harriers.

DSCN1428

My route takes me on across the heathland – hopeful of some early butterflies but the morning sun has receded and the wind has added a chill note to the afternoon. Any self-respecting butterfly is tucked away. Arriving at Scott’s Hall (one of the best sites on the reserve for Marsh Tit) it is disappointing to find the feeders empty and devoid of birds. But at the next feeder station, I am luckier and both Marsh Tit and Coal Tit are seen as they make lightning quick raids on the feeders, stopping only long enough to grab some food before departing.

Common Chaffinch

Common Chaffinch

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

My  final stop of the afternoon is West scrape.

West scrape

West scrape

Here I find a Meditteranean Gull in amongst its far more numerous relative, the Black-headed Gull together with Common Sandpiper and Barnacle Goose. These later are normally winter visitors, but there seemed to be a few each year which fail to migrate back to their arctic breeding grounds and hang around throughout the summer.

The afternoon was fast waning by this point and it was time to begin the journey back to London – an excellent days birdwatching, even if not yielding the photographic opportunities I had hoped for

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Bittern [sp] (Botaurus stellaris)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Grey Plover [sp] (Pluvialis squatarola)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Red Knot [sp] (Calidris canutus)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Little Tern [sp] (Sternula albifrons)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Marsh Tit [sp] (Poecile palustris)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Pied Avocet

Posted: November 5, 2015 in Birds, Natural History
Tags:

The Pied Avocet (known commonly as the Avocet) was once an uncommon breeding bird in the UK, limited to a single colony on an island off the coast of East Anglia, Due to protection and conservation it is now a common sight on our wetland habitats. It’s story was such a successful one that it was adopted as the symbol of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

 

Avocet

Avocet

Avocet

Avocet

Avocet

Avocet

Avocet on nest

Avocet on nest

Pied Avocet

Pied Avocet

Pied Avocet

Pied Avocet

The morning started well with a Banded Demoiselle and a gatekeeper butterfly in the garden of our cottage.

Banded Demoiselle (m)

Banded Demoiselle (m)

Today our destination was the reserve at Hickling Broad. The broads are shallow bodies of water which were the result of flooding of roman sand extractions and medieval extracion of clay and peat. These shallow lakes were joined toether by a number of man-made canals to create a sysytem of waterways.

DSCN8513a

 

 

DSCN8517a

In the morning we walk around the reserve and had some good sightings of butterflies including Painted Lady.

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

The speciality of the reserve is the Swallowtail butterfly and one is distantly seen in flight.

Swallowtail and Friend

Swallowtail

Photo by Rodney Campbell (https://www.flickr.com/photos/acrylicartist/)

The other highlight were the dragonflies with a number of species seen including the local speciality Norfolk Hawker.

Blue Tailed Damselfly (f) -red form

Blue Tailed Damselfly (f) -red form

Black-tailed Skimmer

Black-tailed Skimmer

 

In the afternoon we see the reserve fom a boat as we travel through the reeds to two hides which can only be reached by boat.

There is a good selection of wading birds and ducks at the first including Greenshank; BlackTailed Godwit; Avocet and Lapwing. 3 species of geese were also present: Greylag, Canada and Eygptian.

Pied Avocet

Pied Avocet

At the second hide there were many fewer birds. but we did find a single Wood Sandpipers.

Whilst we were traveling through the reed beds we had two close sightings of 2 Swallowtail butterflies and a Kingfisher.

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Yellowhammer [sp] (Emberiza citrinella)

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Norfolk Hawker (Anaciaeschan isosceles)
Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense)
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Pied Avovet

Pied Avovet

The Washington reserve is a group of lakes and woodland located in the River Wear valley between Gateshead and Sunderland in the North East of England.

DSCN7065a

Arriving at the reserve I first made my way to the woodland where I am treated to excellent views of Bullfinch and Nuthatch at the feeding station.

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

From here I moved onto the saline scrape but apart from a few gulls and an Osytercatcher there is little see.

DSCN7064a

After Lunch I walked along the side of the main lake which runs alongside the river. My first stop gives me excellent views of a Snipe and two Little Ringed Plovers.

Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

Further along the lake I found a group of Common Tern; a party of Redshank; a Black-Tailed Godwit and a group of Avocets.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

Avocets

Avocets

An excellent days birdwatching

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
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)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

In the afternoon we visit the RSPB reserve at Minsmere. This is one of the premier birdwatching sites in the UK most notably because of its position on the east coast and because of the way it manages to combine a number of different habitats (heathland; freshwater lake; reedbed; marsh; woodland; coast) in one area. As we are in the area for a few days we decide to break it into two sections and do one today and one tomorrow. Today we concentrate on the heath, marsh and the coast. There has been some maintenance work in progress over the winter to install a new protective fence for the nesting birds on the mud-flats and this has probably reduced the numbers of wading birds which have wintered here this year, so it is quieter than I would have expected.

During the lunch-time sun a peacock butterfly makes an appearance, my first butterfly of the year

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

From the dunes looking over the marsh I can just make out a distant Spoonbill. Once rare these birds are now being seen with increasing frequency in Southern England.

SPOONBILL
Spoonbill
Photo by Fabio Gismundi (https://www.flickr.com/photos/fabiogis50/)

On the Mud-flats are several Avocets along with some Oystercatchers.

Marsh and Mud-flats

Marsh and Mud-flats

Avocets and Shelduck

Avocets and Shelduck

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

There are also a number of Little Egrets, another bird which was rare 10 years ago but is now nesting in many places in southern England.

Little Egret

Little Egret

On the heath the song-birds are beginning to sing with the resident Dunnocks and Robins to the fore. It will not be many weeks now before the summer visitors have arrived to swell the chorus.

Heathland at Minsmere

Heathland at Minsmere

Robin

Robin

On the coast there is little to see apart from some Herring Gulls and two distant Red-Throated Divers flying out to sea as they make their way north to their breeding grounds

Coastal sand Dunes at Minsmere

Coastal sand Dunes at Minsmere

Red-throated Diver (Gavia stellata)
Red-Throated Diver
Photo by Noel Reynolds (https://www.flickr.com/photos/29237715@N05/)

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Marsh Tit [sp] (Poecile palustris)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Off for a visit to the RSPB reserve at Rainham Marshes on the Thames estuary to the east of London.

DSCN5931a

The weather is dull and overcast although the sun occasionally breaks through as I begin my circuit of the reserve. The feeders by the visitor have good numbers of House Sparrows, a once common bird which has declined in recent years. I first go to the Purfleet hide to see the large group of waders which has gathered in front of it. These turn out to be Golden Plover and Lapwing.

Golden Plover

Golden Plover

Lapwing

Lapwing

In the woodland I come across a female Blackbird busily gorging herself on berries who seem oblivious to my presence.

Blackbird (f)

Blackbird (f)

The Reedbed is unusually quiet and the anticipated Water Rail does not materialise, but I can see plenty of birds out on the marsh so I proceed on to the Butts hide which has marsh on both sides. There are a huge number of Wigeon on the reserve and their whistling call can be heard from the walkway.

Wigeon

Wigeon

A lone pair of Common Pochard swim into view

Common Pochard (m)

Common Pochard (m)

On the Target pool to the west of the hide are a good collection of gulls whilst 2 Marsh Harriers hunt over the reedbed beyond. As I leave a croaking noise alerts me to one of Rainham’s resident Ravens as it passes over the marsh. Arriving again at the Purfleet hide a single Pied Avocet is soon located out on the marsh.

Pied Avocet

Pied Avocet

Looking alongside the hide I see a bird moving in the grass and closer inspection reveals it to be a Common Snipe which obligingly poses for photos before moving off.

Common Snipe

Common Snipe

Then back to the Visitors centre for a hot drink before commencing my journey home contented with a good days birdwatching.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Northern Raven [sp] (Corvus corax)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

I only found out today that Saturday has been designated World Shorebirds day. A chance to focus on and celebrate this magnificent group of birds. They are my favourite groups of birds for photography.

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

Redshank

Redshank

Avocet

Avocet

Greenshank

Greenshank

They can congregate in large numbers especially on migration and in the winter and in flight they can produce a real spectacle as seen in this video from the US Nature Conservancy

So if you have the chance tomorrow get out and down to your local estuary or wetlands and enjoy those shorebirds

About a mile from the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss is the RSPB reserve at Morecombe Bay. This is a series of pools and mudflats and is at its best when the wading birds are driven off the mudflats in the bay and the estuary of the river Kent by the rising tide and need somewhere to roost and feed above the tide line.

DSCN3444a

Redshank

Redshank

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

In addition birds such as Avocet and Black-headed Gull breed around the pools.

Avocet on nest

Avocet on nest

Avocet

Avocet

Black-headed Gull

Black-headed Gull

Venturing farther afield today as I travel to the eastern part of Dorset to visit Brownsea Island. The island lies in the middle of Poole Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world. The island is owned by the National Trust and is famous for a number of reasons. It is one of the few places in England where it is possible to see the native Red Squirrel, which has been lost from most of the mainland. It is also the site of the boys camp which led to the foundation of the scouting movement. What is less well known is that the northern half of the island is managed as a nature reserve by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. It consists of a large lagoon and woodland.

Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island

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Arriving at the island by boat from Poole I made my way to the first hide. Looking out over the lagoon I notice a large white bird, a Spoonbill, a once very rare species which has become more common in southern England over the past 5 years and has recently nested in East Anglia.

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

There is plenty of activity on the lagoon including Greenshank, Avocet and Sandwich Terns, which nest on islands in the lagoon.

Avocet

Avocet

Sandwich Tern

Sandwich Tern

Greenshank

Greenshank

Continuing around the lagoon there are a party of Black-Tailed Godwits, many of which are in fantastic colourfull breeding plumage.

Black-Tailed Godwit

Black-Tailed Godwit

By contrast the woodland was relatively quiet but I did see a couple of Red Squirrel, one of which stayed around long enough feeding on nuts to enable me to get some photographs.

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Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
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)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Bar-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa lapponica)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Yellow-legged Gull [sp] (Larus michahellis)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Eurasian Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)