Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Radipole & the Northern Chalk

On the 1st November Jackie and I found we had a few hours spare so we popped down to Radipole Lake and arrived around lunch time.  The reason we chose to visit Radipole was because I wanted to try to get a few shots of the Long-tailed Duck that had recently taken up residence.  As usual when I get the camera out the bird disappeared around the edge of the reedbed out of sight.  So the best we could do, which happens a lot in birding, was to be patient.  So we sat and and had lunch, well a piece of Dorset apple cake and a coffee and very nice it was too. Lo and behold almost as we finished this super arctic breeding duck appears and close in to the visitor centre patio.  The light was awful but I managed a few reasonable shots before leaving to check out the gulls on the car park. 
Long-tailed Duck - Radipole Lake © Nick Hull
We had a quick scan over the resting gulls on the car park and found another Mediterranean Gull with a colour-ring which I duly sent of the details to the project leader and had a quick reply. It acquired its metal ring E907356 in Bruxelles as a pullus (chick) on 17/05/2004 at Zwijndrecht (Ineos complex), Antwerpen, Belgium. It was colour-ringed as a 3CY (3rd Calender Year) on 22/05/2010 at Antwerpen, Belguim. Since it was recorded for the first time at Ferrybridge on 09/10/2010 then Radipole 11/11/2010 and again at Ferrybridge in 25/12/2010.  The following year it was recorded at Radipole three times on 14/01/11, 28/01/11, 19/12/11.  Then it was recorded back at Antwerpen seventeen times between 12/03/12 and 29/03/12, then on the 14/04/13 It was seen at Titchfield Haven in Hampshire before retuning to Radipole on the 07/11/13. Where it was recorded a further three time the last being on 26/01/14 before being found back at Antwerpen where it was recorded eight time up until 17/04/14 when it moved to Ouddorp, Zeeland in the Netherlands on 22/06/2014 before we recorded it back at Radipole on the 02nd November 2014.

Mediterranean Gull - Radipole car park © Nick Hull
After recording the Mediterranean Gull we headed up to the northern chalk and the Cranborne Chase to look for owls.  Here we were treated to a very nice 'scope view of our first autumn Fieldfare, a flock  of 26 Corn Buntings which flew over to roost giving there ticking calls.  Jackie picked up a flight of distant waders which turned out to be around fifty Golden Plover stretching their wings over the downs.  We finished the evening with a flight of Redwing heading south on what looked like a migration flight,  unfortunately we heard later we missed a Short-eared Owl by ten minutes, 

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