On Sunday 6th October Jackie and I had the afternoon free, so where to go? It appeared we had a choice it seemed go for the Black Tern, Scaup and Garganey at Longham Lakes or for the Grey Phalarope and Little Gull at Lodmoor. We decided on Lodmoor so as soon as we finished lunch we headed off and on arriving we decided to use the car park to save Jackie too much travelling if it should rain.
As we walked around on to the path the first species we saw was a Great White Egret one of four seen that afternoon
|Great White Egret - Lodmoor ©Nick Hull|
Though Great White's are very much more commonly seen in recent years they are still very nice to see. I think they will be breeding in Dorset very soon (my prediction for the week). There was the usual Mallard and Coot and checking the water other than Black-headed Gulls then scanning the edge of the waterline I noticed the Grey Phalarope walking about in the glasswort.
|Distant Grey Phalarope- Lodmoor © Nick Hull|
We walked on up the path to the wet scrape hoping for the 1cy Little Gull here, we met a few of the Weymouth birders and was told it was over the back of the reserve. Checking the area out through bins you could pick it out flying backwards and forwards along stretch of water along the back of the reserve. We waited patiently watching and waiting for it to return to the scrape during which Jackie getting a little bored said she was going to have another look at the phalarope and trundled off down the path. More or less as she left the Little Gull flew in I had a quick look and called Jackie on the mobile she said I've the Ruff here and its fairly close so after a handful of shots of the Little Gull went to where Jackie was watching the Ruff so both birds we had come to see were seen all within a couple of hours and managed to catch up with a few birding acquaintances.
|1CY Little Gull - Lodmoor RSPB © Nick Hull|
|Ruff - Lodmoor © Nick Hull|
As we arrived home and thinking about what we were going to have for dinner I checked my mobile and found that the Black Tern that had been at Longham had been re-identified as a American Black Tern so we decided to take a chance and go the next morning.
So Monday morning found us at Longham Lakes and it didn't take long to find the tern but it did take a little longer to get any half decent shots of it in the dull overcast weather.
|American Black Tern Chlidonias niger|
We also had the added bonus of seeing the Garganey on the Scarlet Darter pond at the southend.
|Garganey - Longham Lakes ©Nick Hull|
Overall I think its not been a bad four hours birding though over an afternoon and a morning, what else will the autumn bring.