Sightings18/10/2014

Harbour Update – posted 18/10/14

Today was a classic autumnal day, which wasn’t as much of a right off as predicted. The day started off with our monthly ‘BoPH’ field trip, which this month was focused around the Studland area. Heavy rain was forecast all day, yet the minute I arrived at Greenland’s Farm at 7:45am, the rain stopped and it didn’t start again all day. For the brave souls that did brave it first thing this morning we were treated to a great variety of birds. Starting at Brands Bay where one of the Great White Egret showed perfectly for us, along with plenty of Great Crested Grebe, the first 2 Red-breasted Merganser of the winter, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and fly over Redwing, Skylark, Grey Wagtail and Meadow Pipit. A Merlin showed very briefly over Greenland’s Farm and a few Dartford Warbler stayed low in the gorse. On to Middle Beach, Studland where out in the Bay 2 Black-necked Grebe (and another 2 later) were present also 1 Common Scoter, 2 Gannet, several Med Gull, 10+ Brent Geese, 1 Common Tern and 1 Sandwich Tern. A check along the woodland in-between Middle Beach and Knoll Beach found us a nice mixed-tit flock with plenty of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest, and then just as I was explaining that if we were really lucky we may find a Yellow-browed Warbler, group member Liz said “do they have an obvious wing bar?” to which I replied…’yes‘, to which Liz replied ”is that one there?”. And low and behold, there in the holly was a stunning Yellow-browed Warbler which had the courtesy to come and land in the bush right next to us giving great views, if only for ten seconds or so. Unfortunately, one of the target species of the day was Ring Ouzel which I did manage to find, but not until after the walk and on my way home! It was feeding in the field below the main viewpoint along the Studland Road, luckily a walk attendee drove past and I managed to flag him down, getting him on to the bird before it flew off. Phew! Elsewhere in the harbour, Brownsea saw ONLY 41 Spoonbill, a whopping 27 Greenshank, 17 Spotted Redshank and 1 Firecrest. Harbour raptors now consist of 7 Marsh Harrier, 2 ringtail Hen Harrier and 4 Merlin (2 Hartland, 1 Arne moors, 1 Greenlands).

Continuing with the sound theme. Although the ‘vis-mig’ wasn’t as productive this morning as I was hoping it was going to be, birds were still on the move, and I want to provide you with two recordings I made only this week of species you may not think to listen out for, but well worth it.

Bullfinch – Social calls – flock of 9 birds migrating over Glebelands

Bullfinch aren’t perhaps a species you would think move around that much, but right the way through October and in to November flocks of Bullfinch, varying in size pass overhead, giving their presence away by the soft piping ‘fuu‘ they produce. This recording is of a flock of 9 Bullfinch passing over Glebelands.

 

Raven – Familiar ‘cronk’ of several birds. Flock contained 15 individuals flying over Glebeland’s

The status of Raven in Dorset over the last decade has increased dramatically. When I heard one ‘cronking‘ over Glebelands the other morning I wasn’t quite expecting to see flock of 15 birds passing overhead….quite a sight. This recording is of a few of the birds contact calling with their iconic ‘cronk’

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