Sunny Sunnyside

Saturday the 20th of April saw the third ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ public walk where the chosen location was the Sunnyside/Soldiers Road area.

The area is a nice mixture of lowland heathland, farmland and a few water meadows and is a great area for autumn migration, so we thought we would try a spring walk to see what may turn up.

The big area of high pressure over most of the UK was great for migrating birds, but not so great for birdwatchers i.e…us, as a lot of birds had moved on through overnight towards their breeding grounds.  However, a lovely mixture of all sorts of wildlife was experienced with some nice spring birdsong mixed in.

Highlights included not one but two fly-by Cuckoos which eventually came back and sang from a tree a hundred yards from the group. A displaying Dartford Warbler on the sweet smelling gorse was a real treat. Tuneful Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap filled the hedgerows, while 4 Wheatear were busy feeding on some of the farm fields. Swallows intermittently flew over while we stopped for our lunch break on the stunning viewpoint that looks out across the Wareham Channel, and a Peregrine was seen circling distantly towards Swineham. Birds weren’t the only attraction as 2 Sand Lizard gave great views and about 8 Common Lizard seemed quite vulnerable as they scurried across a large recently cleared area of scrub. Finally, as we were all saying goodbye a bright male Yellow Wagtail was found feeding in amongst the horses in the field next to the car park, fittingly ending what was truly the warmest, brightest spring day of the year so far. 


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