Posts Tagged ‘Dorset Wildlife’

Our final day in Dorset and the heavy rain forecast has not materialised and so we set off for the RSPB reserve at Lodmoor on the eastern edge of Weymouth to see if we can add a few new species.

 

RSPB Lodmoor

RSPB Lodmoor

 

Unfortunately it seems very quiet, possibly due to the strong north winds which have been blowing down the Lothan Valley for most of the week. We do locate a single drake Northern Shoveller , but otherwise there is little else to see until we are just about to leave the reserve when a Lesser Whitethroat called from deep within a bush, Despite our best efforts this bird remained unseen as this skulking species often does.

 

Beach and Rocks below Nothe Castle

Beach and Rocks below Nothe Fort

Our final stop is Nothe Fort, built to defend Weymouth Harbour. The rocks and small beach below the castle are a good site for Ruddy Turnstone and sure enough 6 birds are busy feeding  together with a Rock Pipit.

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

Then it is time to collect our bags and head for the station to return to London. A good trip – 106 species between us which is similar to our trip here in May last year.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Lesser Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia curruca)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Having visited the southern end of Portland on Tuesday, we decided to explore the northern end of the isthmus for migrants this morning. Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff and 2 Spotted Flycatchers were present coupled with some spectacular views back across Portland harbour.

Verne Common

Verne Common

 

View from ascent to Verne Common back towards the mainland

View from ascent to Verne Common back towards the mainland

Our next stop was in Southwell where Pied Flycatcher had been seen earlier in the morning. Again there was plenty of migrant activity with Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher present. After a 30 minute search we decided to move on and as we walked back to the bus stop, I saw a bird ‘flycatching’ from a tree and a closer look identified it as a female Pied Flycatcher.

Spotted Flycatcher. Photo by Andy Morrffew (https://www.flickr.com/photos/andymorffew/)

Spotted Flycatcher. Photo by Andy Morrffew (https://www.flickr.com/photos/andymorffew/)

 

female Pied Flycatcher. Photo by Daniela (https://www.flickr.com/photos/daniela_naturephotography/)

Female Pied Flycatcher. Photo by Daniela (https://www.flickr.com/photos/daniela_naturephotography/)

Our next stop was Chesil where we again found a Northern Wheatear, Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Our final site of the day was back at Radipole Lake where we located the long-staying Hooded Merganser and amongst the birds feeding over the lake – Common Swift, Sand Martin and House Martin. As we made our way along a path north of the information centre we heard the ‘ping’ call of Bearded Reedling, although unfortunately the birds never showed themselves.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
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)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Northern Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Spotted Flycatcher [sp] (Muscicapa striata)
European Pied Flycatcher [sp] (Ficedula hypoleuca)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)

Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

A day in the Purbeck area of Dorset with local birder, Neil Gartmore as our guide.

DSCN1255a

Our first stop was Morden Bog, an area of Dorset heathland. Our first stop was at a small woodland where we searched for the rare and elusive Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, alas without success, but a number of other woodland species including Greater Spotted and Green Woodpecker were recorded.

Morden Bog

Morden Bog

As we walked the heathland paths, we added Dartford Warbler, Woodlark, Redstart, Common Crossbill Siskin and Redpoll although none showed well enough and/or long enough to allow photography.

Morden Bog

Morden Bog

Our second stop was Swineham Gravel pit where we saw  an obliging Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Common Sandpipers alongside the common waterbirds.

Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit

We then visited Middlebere on one of the inlets of Poole Harbour. In front of the hide we were able o compare Common Redshank with its relative Spotted Redshank.

Middlebere

Middlebere

 

Little egret at Middlebere

Little Egret at Middlebere

The weather started to close in and so a final visit to a moor where Hen Harrier has been seen recently had to be abandoned due to the rain.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Bar-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa lapponica)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Northern Raven [sp] (Corvus corax)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Woodlark [sp] (Lullula arborea)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Dartford Warbler [sp] (Sylvia undata)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Treecreeper [sp] (Certhia familiaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Redstart [sp] (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Redpoll [sp] (Carduelis flammea)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)
Red Crossbill [sp] (Loxia curvirostra)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Dunnock

Dunnock

Day 2 of our trip to Dorset and we set off for a visit to Portland, famed for its building stone. Portland is a long isthmus of land which projects south from the coast into the English Channel and which is often the first landfall for migrating birds.

Portland coastline

Portland coastline

We can hear that many Common Chiffchaffs have arrived overnight together with a few Blackcaps and Common Whitethroats.

Reaching the southern end of the isthmus, known as the bill, we are able to view the nesting colonies of birds on the cliff face – Guillimots. Razorbills and European Shag along with Fulmar and Raven.

Razorbill (foreground) and  European Shag

Razorbill (foreground) and European Shag

After lunch we return north along the coastal path and had wonderful views of a Sparrowhawk.

Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk

As we arrive at the narrow spit of land which connects Portland to the mainland, the weather begins to turn. Making our way through the rain we come to the Chesil reserve centre and a welcome stop at the excellent coffee shop. As we sat drinking our coffee and sheltered from the rain, we were delighted to see a Northern Wheatear and a Whimbrel just outside on the edge of the Fleet.

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

 

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

Later, once the rain had stopped we found a flock of Ringed Plover and Dunlin, together with a single Sanderling.

Returning to Weymouth, we made a brief stop at the reserve centre at Radipole, where a single Common sandpiper on the island was the only bird of note.

Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Northern Fulmar [sp] (Fulmarus glacialis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)
European Shag [sp] (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Sanderling [sp] (Calidris alba)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Guillemot [sp] (Uria aalge)
Razorbill [sp] (Alca torda)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Northern Raven [sp] (Corvus corax)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Northern Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe oenanthe)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

A few days birdwatching with Keith in Dorset. On our arrival in Weymouth we dropped our luggage off at the accommodation and headed out to the RSPB at Radipole Lake, a nature reserve won the lower reaches of the River Wey as it enters the town.

Radipole RSPB reserve

Radipole RSPB reserve

Walking along the entrance path we are greeted by a chorus of Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler all in song, although they all contrive to stay out of sight in the reed-beds. A distant Marsh Harrier was seen and 3 Common Sandpipers were located on an island in the river.

Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Returning back to the reserve centre a Greenshank and 2 Black-tailed Godwits were feeding on the mud exposed by the receding tide.

Common Pochard

Common Pochard

 

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
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 Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
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)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Some more pictures from my recent trip to Dorset

Magpie

Magpie

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

An apparently headless and one-legged Grey Heron

An apparently headless and one-legged Grey Heron

Common Pochard

Common Pochard

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

 Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Some more pictures from my recent trip to Dorset

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

Large Poppy

Large Poppy

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mallard

Mallard

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Little Tern on nest (taken from TV feed)

Little Tern on nest (taken from TV feed)

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Some more pictures from my recent trip to Dorset

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Black Redstart (f)

Black Redstart (f)

Dunnock

Dunnock

Little Tern on nest (taken from TV feed)

Little Tern on nest (taken from TV feed)