About Two Owls

Friday 12 January 2024

1st December to the end of the year.

We hope everyone had a very happy and festive Christmas and we would like to wish you all a very successful wildlife filled New Year.

Though December is always a month where birding seems to drop off a little and we only managed to visit five locations mainly trying to add a few species we were missing for our local lists. A visit to Studland on the 6th December proved fruitful, we walked out to Jerry's Point and scanned the inner harbour which added Red-throated Diver and Long-tailed Duck plus species that we had at the beginning of the year like Black-necked Grebe, Goldeneye, Red-breasted Mergansers, Grey Plover etc. Which was all very nice to see.

We didn't get out again until the 17th when we popped over to Thorncombe Wood near Dorchester.  A walk around the wood with friends didn't produce a large variety of species but we did manage to find a couple of Brambling in amongst a flock of feeding Chaffinch and had a couple of flyover Lesser Redpoll which are always nice to catchup with at anytime.  

All our other visits were on the home patch trying to add one or two species missed in the early part of the year.  So how did we do overall in 2023, well as Jackie and I do not twitch and travel outside the Dorset unless it's for short break holidays, we alway set our yearly challenge at 200 species to see in the year. 
A breakdown of our year is pretty average 
UK                                       213 species (Not including a further 27 species seen in France on holiday)
Lytchett Bay Patch              123 species  
Poole Harbour                     157 species
Isle of Purbeck                    160 species
Dorset                                  178 species
These figures do not include 2 escape species Black Swan and Harris Hawk.

Local highlights of the year must be:- 
Forster's Tern              - Lytchett Bay & Arne
Spotted Sandpiper      - Bramble Bush Bay
Dotterel                       Renscombe, Isle of Purbeck
Cirl Bunting                 Isle of Purbeck
Great Grey Shrike       - Lytchett Bay
Woodchat Shrike        - Herston, Swanage

Holiday highlights
White-billed Diver     - Flamborough Head
Cory's Shearwater    - off Plymouth
Great Shearwater     - off Plymouth
American Wigeon     - Shapwick Heath Somerset
Lesser Scaup           Shapwick Heath Somerset Noah’s Lake
Ring-necked Duck    - Shapwick Heath Somerset Noah’s Lake

Cirl Bunting, American Wigeon, Dipper, Great White Egret,
Forster's Tern, Osprey, Garganey and Night Heron
Dotterel, Waxwing, Cattle Egret, Spotted Sandpiper
Great Grey Shrike and Long-tailed Duck

Moth Highlights
Palpita vitrealis, Dichomeris alacella, Portland Ribbon Wave
Old Lady, Emperor Moth, Clifden Nonpareil