Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Boom! Lesser Yellowlegs at Lytchett Patch

On Sunday 18th September it started much like usual, the weather was overcast and we were meeting our group at 09:30 to lead them around our home patch of Lytchett Fields.  We had just assembled and about to start our walk down to the Lytchett Fields, when a car pulls up and its our friends Paul and Shaun, they announce Ian has just found a Lesser Yellowlegs but it's disappeared.  They left to park their car and we walked down the lane towards the pool field, then up the lane by the Arable Field then over the style across the Purple Heron Field.  We checked off many of the commoner species on the way, and a few migrants like Chiffchaff and Blackcap.

As we approach the Sherford Pools there were a number of birders checking through the waders or watching the actual bird.  I quickly set up the scope and Ian pointed me in the right direction to save time, after all this was a Poole Harbour tick as well as a patch first as I missed the last on Brownsea Island in December 2014.  There was no way you would miss it, it was the only active bird walking around and feeding amongst the Teal and Redshank at the back of the pools.  This small American wader that breeds in Canada through to Alaska and winter along the southern states and South America was stunning.  A little smaller than Redshank looking a little more like a very clean Wood Sandpiper with yellow legs. 

Sorry about the bad digi shot but the distant and heat haze was pretty awful it was much better in the scope which says a lot for my photographic skills.  It's easy when you have a rarity not to look at what else is around.  The high tide was flushing birds off the bay onto the pools, there was good numbers of Redshank, Black-tailed Godwits, a scattering of Dunlin and Snipe, lots of Teal, a Moorhen plus a single Water Rail found by Joe.  Looking over French's Pools there was more of the same and a large flock of gulls mainly Black-headed and a good number of Pied Wagtails with the odd White Wagtail mixed in.  Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Goldfinch were all moving around.   After another view of the Lesser Legs we headed off to Sandy Lane heath, a remnant square of heath between the houses and the bay.  It was here we fell in with Shaun again who was ringing and he allow us to watch him ringing a few birds in the hand.  Our first was a Cetti's Warbler, definitely the best and closest views any of the group have had of this super little warbler.   Our next in hand treat was a Meadow Pipit and our last a Chiffchaff, this brought our walk to an end, but what a excellent morning's birding.

Cetti's Warbler Lytchett Bay © Nick Hull

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