Friday, 20 May 2016

Soggy Birding at Holt Heath

Our Wednesday group met on 18th May at Holt Heath near Wimborne, it started so well, the rain had stopped the birds were singing!  We had Coal Tit and Goldcrest singing in the car park and as we walked through to the open heath the sun came out.  A Song Thrush stopped for a while with a bill full of food as a Jay flew through and a Blackbird alarmed.  Then the first three of Great Spotted Woodpeckers came in and started tapping loudly on a tree.

On the heath a Swift flew overhead, then a flyby drake Mallard!  A few Linnets and Stonechat were seen and then a Dartford Warbler.  Further on a Blackcap and Chaffinch were singing, then I heard a Tree Pipit.  Moving a few steps further and we found the Tree Pipit perched on top of a tree, opposite we had our first Yellowhammer and then a Whitethroat sat up.

We stopped to watch a pair of Stonechats then heard a Cuckoo and more surprisingly a Nightjar churred briefly, then we heard our first Willow Warbler.  A Curlew gave his beautiful bubbling call, such a wonderful sound and pleased to know they are still here.  An impressive male Greenfinch sat up singing and a Chiffchaff sat out on top of a thin bare tree singing his heart out.  Moving on I heard Siskin, I saw a female briefly and found a male feeding nearby.

By now we had had a few showers but now the rain was persistent and heavy and really it was time to head back to our cars.  However it was a great morning and certainly plenty of summer migrants and worth getting wet for.

Stonechat (library photo) © Nick Hull

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