Posts Tagged ‘RSPB Radipole’

Portland Harbour from Sandsfoot Castle

A lovely sunny winters day and I started out at SandsfootCastle looking for Divers. As on Tuesday, there were Great Crested Grebe andBlack-necked Grebe but no divers.

I then walked the Rodwell Trail (the route of the oldWeymouth-Portland Railway line) and added some common birds such as Wren andGreenfinch.

Sandsfoot Castle from the Rodwell trail

At Ferrybridge, a large group of Red-Breasted Mergansers and Black-headed Gulls had obviously located a shoal of fish and were feeding frantically. On the high tide roost there was a party of 30 Brent Geese, whilst on the Fleet, there were only some gulls and a small party of Red-Breasted Mergansers.

The Fleet at Ferrybridge

After meeting Sue for Lunch at the excellent Chesil Beach Cafe, we went to Radipole RSPB reserve to have another look at the Ring-necked Duck and see if I could get some photos, but alas it was asleep tucked into a bank of reeds. However, whilst we were standing there watching it a Yellow-Browed Warbler flew into the reeds in front of us and flitted from reed to tree and back again, calling repeatedly, in the frantic way that seems characteristic of this species.

Yellow-Browed Warbler
Photo by Dave Curtis (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davethebird/)

Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Black-necked Grebe [sp] (Podiceps nigricollis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)
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)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Naturelog:14 January

Posted: January 24, 2019 in Birds, Natural History
Tags:

Today’s location was the RSPB reserve at Radipole Lake. This area of reed-bed and open water is just upriver of the mouth of the River Wey. It starts in the town and follows the river north from there.

My first location is the main channel, where a Ring-Necked Duck has been wintering. This American bird is one of a handful that have made their way across the Atlantic to the UK this winter. I was fortunate to see one only last month in Kent. After some searching I find the bird with a group of Tufted Duck (a close relative) and although I get an excellent view sadly it is by looking through a bank of reeds and so impossible to get any photographs.

Ring-necked Duck.
Photo by Alexandra Mackenzie (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mizmak/)

Having seen the star bird on the reserve, I make my way to the reserve centre to see what other birds are around and to get a hot drink as it seems rather cold this morning. From the window of the centre, a Water Rail is seen flying from one reed-bed to another. A single Mediterranean Gull is amongst the commoner gulls roosting on the perches around the centre.

Great Cormorants

Walking through the reed-beds it seems very quite apart from the occasional song of the Cetti’s Warbler. On some open water there is a group of Great Cormorants along with Common Pochard, a pair of Gadwall and a large flock of Tufted Duck.

Tufted Duck

Continuing on to the North screen, there is a group of Eurasian Teal along with a single Little Egret. At least 3 Western Marsh Harriers are seen over the reed-bed.

Mute Swan
Mouse
Northern Shovellor

Turning south again and retracing my steps towards the river mouth and harbour, I choose this time to walk down the western side of the river. A Grey Wagtail and 3 Little Grebes are welcome additions to the day’s list before seeking out another hot drink.

Little Grebe

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ‘feral’)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)

Started the morning at Hamm beach on Portland Harbour, where the conditions were arctic with a strong wind blowing in from the bay. A single Red-breasted Merganser was present along with 14 Ruddy Turnstone and a Meadow Pipit, but no sign of the divers or Grebes that had been frequenting the harbour.

Ruddy Turnstone

A Common Kestrel was actively hunting along the vegetation at the edge of the water and allowed me to come quite close

Walking along the Fleet, an inlet from the harbour, a Male Eurasian Stonechat was active in the vegetation.

DSCN8737-22

The Fleet at Ferrybridge

DSCN8733-20

Eurasian Stonechat (m)

A small flock of Brent Geese were by the visitor centre and 40 Mediterranean Gulls were on the high tide gull roost along with Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull. Had a distant view of a Black-necked Gull along with a Little Grebe, which gave a good comparator. Also present were 14 Red-breasted Merganser.

                   Meditteranean Gulls with Black-headed Gulls (top), Brent Geese (middle)                         and Red-breasted Merganser (bottom)

In the afternoon I visited RSPB Radipole Lake where along with a good variety of water-birds the highlights were a Water Rail, a Bearded Reedling and 2 Western Marsh Harriers.

Shelduck (top), Great Cormorant (bottom left), Herring and Black-headed Gulls (bottom centre) and Northern Shoveler (bottom right)

Brent Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Black-necked Grebe [sp] (Podiceps nigricollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)

Common Gull [sp] (Larus canus)
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)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

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)

RSPB Radipole

RSPB Radipole

Our final morning in Dorset before heading back to London is spent at the RSPB Radipole reserve in the heart of Weymouth.

RSPB Radipole

RSPB Radipole

As we make our way around the reserve we are serenaded by the song of Reed Warblers and Cetti’s Warblers and are fortunate to get some views of these elusive birds in the the reed-beds. We hear the call of Beaded Tits on a couple of occasions but they remain out of sight. A single Long-tailed Tit is another addition to the species seen on this trip. The most unusual bird of the morning is a Hooded Merganser (an American species). This bird was first seen in June 2008 and has stayed at Radipole ever since apart from occasional trips to other spots along the south coast. It is officially regarded as an escape from a bird collection but there is never certainty. Regardless it is a very attractive bird.

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

The joy of our morning walk is the host of Butterflies particularly Brimstones, but we also see Common Blue; Holly Blue; Small White; Green-veined White; Speckled Wood and Large White.

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Common Blue

Common Blue

Its been an excellent few days with over 100 species of bird seen, but not just seen; but great views as well.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Lesser Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia curruca)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

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 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lipkee/)

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)

Away for a few days last week birdwatching around Weymouth in Dorset on England’s south coast.

The morning started off wet and very unpleasant so I walked down to the reserve centre at Radipole Lake, which has an observation window onto the reserve. Despite the now torrential rain there were good sightings of Reed Bunting and Bearded Tit.

After about an hour the rain started to ease off so I decided to go to Ferrybridge. This is on the spit of land which joins Portland Bill to the mainland.

The Fleet

The Fleet

Chesil Beach

Chesil Beach

On arrival a group of Sandwich Terns were on the Fleet (a large body of tidal water separated from the sea by Chesil beach). I noticed a smaller Tern fly past with a pale bill – a Little Tern. A Whimbrel was on the opposite side of the Fleet together with a group of Ringed Plover and Dunlin.

Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

After returning to Ferrybridge from the seaward side of the Fleet I returned to Weymouth and went to Radipole Lake. A little Egret was present near the reserve centre. A walk around the reserve added Sedge Warbler and a distant view of Marsh Harrier were new sightings for the trip. Large White, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were flying in the late afternoon sun

Returning to the centre, the warden said that a drake Garganey had been seen on the lower lake. A few minutes walk and this normally shy and reclusive bird was located on the lake as people walked past unaware that this attractive bird was even there. A couple of local birders joined us and great views and photos were obtained.

Garganey

Garganey

Garganey

Garganey

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Garganey (Anas querquedula)
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)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Little Tern [sp] (Sternula albifrons)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
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)
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)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)