Sunday, 10 September 2017

Birding Lytchett Fields

On Wednesday (6th) our group met for a walk round our home patch of Lytchett Fields.  Our arrival was timed well for the high tide when large numbers of waders use the fields when the feeding areas disappear in the bay itself.  On the way we had views of one of our local Buzzards and a few of the usual resident species like Robin, Blue Tit and Starlings.  It was fairly quiet as we walked across the "Purple Heron" field as it's known by the local birders, to the two viewpoints and now called the approach field for more obvious reasons.  But just after crossing the wooden bridge I heard a Yellow Wagtail call, scanning the pools to our left for this bird we found a good number of Pied and mixed with them a few White Wagtails, then right at the back of the pools we could see a couple of Yellow Wagtails.  We were just moving forward towards the viewpoints when Ian Ballam, a fellow patch watcher, phoned my mobile telling me that in the corner of the pools in front of us was a Curlew Sandpiper close to the path.  So I quickly found it for all to see just in case it flushed as we walked passed though we didn't need to worry as neither the Dunlin or the Curlew Sandpiper took any notice of us.
Curlew Sandpiper - Lytchett Fields RSPB © Joe Baldwin
Arriving at the Sherford Pools viewpoint other than a few wagtails everything was at the far end, apparently just before we arrived a Peregrine had "buzzed" the field.  There was still good numbers of  Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Teal, several Little Egrets, a single Greenshank and a few Lapwings.  Chris found another Buzzard sat in an Oak tree and then a Peregrine sped in from the left across the field really low and nothing moved!  Soon after Fran found it sat in a dead tree, it was a young bird obviously still honing her skills.  Shortly afterwards a Kingfisher streaked across the pools heading for the Sherford River but perched long enough in an oak to allow us brief scope views. 

Next we viewed over French's Pools, here the field had a deeper water level but there was a couple of Greenshank and more godwits.  Also a large flock of roosting gulls with mainly Black-headed Gulls, with a Great Black-backed and a few Herring Gulls mixed in. We had taken over an hour working our way through the birds trying to find the Wood Sandpiper, which had been around for a few days, but we couldn't find it anywhere on the pools. 

Walking back to Slough Lane we had a Kestrel hovering over the Purple Heron Field, in the lane we had a small tit flock, also Chaffinch Greenfinch, Goldfinch and of course Robin.  A look of the wildflower/arable field didn't produce anything of note but it was looking good for the late autumn and winter, with the flowers heads now gone to seed, hopefully this will bring in the winter finches and buntings.  Lytchett Pools had more gulls, a scattering of Lapwing, a couple of godwits and a Green Sandpiper.  A quick look around the waterworks we added Jay and a few Chiffchaff.

Now time to return to our cars but it was really nice to show the group our local patch.

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