Monday, 20 May 2019

Early Summer Catchup

Hi I can't believe it's been so long since I've written a blog, so here I'm going to try and summarise as so much has happened since the spring blog.  

April 
A visit to Blashford on the 13th April gave us a few year ticks with Little Ringed Plover (5), Swallow, Sand and House Martin also Common Tern and a female Goosander along with the usual common species.
Little Ringed Plover - Ibsley Water Blashford Lakes © Nick Hull
Then we had visits to Lytchett Fields RSPB and another to Holton Lee we recorded all the usual woodland species and a few of the common migrants.  Whimbrel, Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Cuckoo and an Osprey were all seen.  Our next outing was our around Poole Harbour day visiting a number of sites. Middlebere at the end of April again produced an Osprey with a large mullet on the nesting post but we had a number of migrants walking to the hide. Cuckoo, Reed Warbler, Swallows, House Martin, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. Bestwell and Swineham produced Swallow, House and Sand Martin, Swift, Whimbrel, Blackcap, Reed Warbler. 

May
Jackie and I had morning visit to Hartland Moor on the 6th May and tried out her new scooter along the tramway and we managed Dartford Warbler, Cuckoo, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and had our first Wall Brown butterfly along with Green Hairstreak and I caught up on Swift which Jackie had on the Swineham visit that I had missed.  Next day we had a group at Arne RSPB and had a very nice walk around the reserve seeing a good 50 species.  

On the 11th May we had our Two Owls visit to Portland and Weymouth, over the previous two days the migration was good but on our visit it was very slow and hard work to find birds.  Starting with a seawatch we managed to get the usual gull species and of course Shag, Guillemots and Razorbill and a couple of Fulmar, several displaying Rock Pipit and a pair of Wheatear gave us a good show.  We lunched at Ferrybridge and added three species of tern to our day list and had 25 Little Tern in flight together over the Fleet. Also here we had three Whimbrel and a handfull of summer plumaged Dunlin.

We ended the day walking around Lodmoor RSPB and though we saw nothing particularly rare we had some good sighting of Bearded Tit which we came across a number of time during our walk. Reed Warblers and a couple of Sedge Warbler more Dunlin and a good number of Common Tern. Several sightings of the male Marsh Harrier on our walk round and a good number of Pochard drakes, the females must have been hidden away sitting on their nests. Jackie picked out a single 1st/sum Mediterranean Gull and we ended with more Swift flying in a group across the reserve.
Bearded Tit - Lodmoor © Nick Hull
To bring us up to date we visited Martin Down this morning, this is always a site for quality rather than quantity.  We started with Skylark, Yellowhammer and Whitethroats,  and not long after added two Red Kite and Lesser Whitethroat. We then came into a number of butterflies, Common Adonis and Small Blue, Brimstone males and females, Grizzled and Dingy Skippers and then Marsh Fritillary one of which looked so fresh it appeared to have only just pumped up. We had several pairs of Raven flying over probably going towards the pig fields east of Tidpit. The piece de resistance of the day were the Turtle Dove of which we had at least four singing and good scope views of two.   Has it has recently been reported that there is only around 200 pairs left breeding in the UK we are very lucky to see them. We took great care not to disturb them as we started our return walk back to the cars.  We had another sighting of a Red Kite, Buzzard and Kestrel along with Red-legged Partridge.

Turtle Dove - Martin Down © Nick Hull
Just for Phil, the butterfly whisperer, who was with me today had a close encounter with a very fresh Marsh Fritillary, I've included the next shot.
Phil's finger & Marsh Fritillary © Nick Hull
To finish this blog I had to include a photograph taken by Carolyn Newman of a Nightjar that she took in a friends garden this morning, just how lucky can some people be.
Nightjar © Carolyn Newman

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