About Two Owls

Monday 16 February 2015

Holes Bay Birding part 2

We've not really had much chance for birding since the last visit to Holes Bay, but this venue always gives at this time of year.

Walking down to Holes Bay looking over one of the fields a large oak had a large flock of Redwing and a few Song Thrush going through the leaf litter, while a Jay sat on a branch above watching on.
Jess then picked up a Goldcrest feeding in the branches on a tree next to us, while around us Robins, Song Thrush and Great Tits sang.

Reaching the boardwalk we enjoyed the beautiful sight of Black-tailed Godwits flying over our heads and into the adjacent fields.  We had a quick look over this part bay not wanting to dawdle too much as we wanted to get over to the side of the bay before the tide went out to far.  There were more Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Avocet, Redshank and the ducks included Shoveler, Pintail and of course Wigeon and Teal.  Then going through the godwits in the field we found a couple with colour rings which I hope I should know more about soon.

Coming out at the other side of the bay one of the first birds we saw as a female Stonechat on the marshy vegetation and behind us the familiar calling of Long-tailed Tits.  Looking out to the bay we had hoped to find the Smew again, but this time we were not lucky, nor did we have Spoonbill.  However there was still plenty to see with the usual Wigeon, Teal, Redshank, a few Oystercatchers and Avocet also a single Grey Heron.  By the outfall a Little Egret and Spotted Redshank and looking down the PC drain the usual Kingfisher was on show.   Though very distant we could see Chiffchaffs flitting about as did a Grey Wagtail, a pair of Gadwall and a Moorhen was on the water.  

Little Egret, Holes Bay outfall © Jackie Hull

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Holes Bay birding

A beautiful day after snow yesterday and the birds didn't disappoint either.  This morning we were meeting at Upton Country Park to look over Holes Bay.

Standing by the stone bench we could see a large number of Black-tailed Godwit huddled together on a small island of salt marsh as the tide was still a little high.  Further across were a loose flock of Avocets standing still waiting for the tide to ebb.  Nearer we had Wigeon, Pintail, Teal and Redshank but the light was making it difficult to see much more than silhouettes.  

Walking along the woodland path to the other side of bay we had a Jay trying to hide in the bushes before noisily flying away.  In the field we had a couple of Mistle Thrush and a single Curlew.  On our walk back had a flock of Meadow Pipits flying up and as soon as they landed disappeared in the longish grass.  

Exiting the park and with the tide now ebbing there were several Mute Swans and with them was a single roosting Spoonbill, occasionally raising its head to show his lovely spatulate bill.  Also with the Swans and Black-headed Gull were a couple of Common Gulls.  There were also the usual Wigeon, Teal and Redshanks, then I heard the call of a Spotted Redshank and conveniently it landed right in front of us.  Further round the bay and by the outflow from the PC World drain Jess picked up the 'redhead' Smew and everyone got good views in the scopes.  A delightful little duck and an uncommon winter visitor to Poole Harbour, and nearby was its usual companion a Goldeneye.

With a look down the PC World drain we had a Kingfisher showing off and again lovely views in the scope of it flying from perch to perch.  As we turned back a Spotted Redshank called again and landed just off the outflow and then with two further on confirmed we actually had 3 here.  I looked up to see all birds taking flight from the other side of the bay,  I called attention to this and as I did the birds in front of us flew up and it didn't take a moment before I saw the culprit!  A Peregrine flew across and right over us and on over Fleetsbridge, maybe over to Hatch Pond.  
Spotted Redshank - 1 of 3 in Holes Bay
Turning our attention back to the bay where the birds had settled down again we had Dunlin, Avocet and the Spoonbill in close.  The Spoonbill woke up from his slumber and started walking towards us before standing next to an old supermarket trolley!  A Reed Bunting flew up from the vegetation on the foreshore and into the bushes but didn't reappear.

Back in the park a Green Woodpecker flew up and promptly went round the back side of the tree and out of sight.   A pair of Stock Dove were flying around and showing well.  In the leaf litter were a good number of Redwings searching for titbits as they turned the leaves over, while on the grass were four Song Thrush.    

So altogether a brilliant morning with lots of brilliant birds on a lovely winters day.