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Post Info TOPIC: Dorset


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RE: Dorset


Travelled 70 miles to Arne RSPB today, even though as we set off from the B& B we intended to go to North Somerset! A late switch & we were at Arne by 10am. Early on we saw a very showy juv Dartford Warbler & it isn't often you can say that! I got my best pics of the species and then down to scan Middlebere Channel. Here we saw approximately 12 Spoonbills, predictably all asleep. It was then we saw on the pager that a juv Red-necked Phalarope was in Dorset .......... at Arne RSPB, on the other side of the reserve!!! So like the other day we had a sort trip, this time walked, to try to see it. We met up with Marcus, the Dorset Bird Recorder, who we had been walking round with today and he had seen it briefly. We searched with a dozen others but no sign. They all left one by one and we ended up alone, when I then refound it! I got one person back to see it and showed two more who had just arrived. Then like before it flew off, but success and all twitched on foot! Also seen today were 2 Ospreys, an Avocet and a Wheatear. Again a fantastic day, what a holiday this is and the luck of the Irish is with me in the decisions I'm making!

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Part of today was spent in Dorset but birds were The supporting cast to butterflies. Noteworthy was a Marsh Tit at Alners Gorse butterfly reserve in a big roving tit flock which also included a Treecreeper and a few Willow Warblers with a Spotted Flycatcher close by.

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Went down the short distance to Dorset today, mainly due to a good weather forecast there for butterflying, but the birding surpassed that in the end. First birds were 2 early Dark- bellied Brent Geese on the Fleet at Ferrybridge. We carried on to Portland Bill for an hours seawatch and picked up just 1 Balearic Shearwater as well as numerous Gannets & Kittiwakes and 1 drake Common Scoter. 3 Rock Pipits were on the rocks. A Peregrine flew past too. The rest of the day was going to be for insects until mid afternoon a Mega bird broke! We had to drive 5 minutes down the road to Culverwell near the Obs to stand with c.20 others watching a clump of sallows. Eventually a bright yellow bird appeared and showed really well, a Yellow Warbler from the USA, the first mainland U.K record I'm told and a huge Mega lifer for us!! A Hobby flew over too, but no one gave it a second glance, the Yankee warbler stole the show! What a holiday this is, what next?!

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A few more bits from my West Country hol a week or so ago:

Alner's Gorse (near Lydlinch) - Spotted Flycatcher.

Brandrith Down (near Fontmell Down) - Red Kite

Martin Down (Dorset/Hants border) - Turtle Dove, Corn Bunting.

Fontmell Down - Raven.

Cheyne Weares Quarry, Portland - Peregrine.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Tuesday 2nd of August 2016 09:50:14 PM

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Thanks doc. I was surprised to hear them every where along that stretch of coast seen as I didn't know they bread.
Only just got internet seen as I couldn't get on it at Swanage YHA.
We decided to go for the day on brownsea Island.
Friday 30th:
The first birds we noticed were the masses of avocets. If I add up all the avocets I had ever seen, it wouldn't come close to how many we had that day.
Highlights were:
100+ cormorants (with 1 or 2 sinensis cormorants there but I didn't properly search through them seen as I only had brief looks at the flock.
7 little egrets which was less than I expected seen as it where little egrets first breed in the uk.
1 spoonbill which flew off 1 minute after we entered macs hide (a new bird in Britain for me)
1 great white egret which flew onto the sea wall as we left macs hide
1 peregrine sat at the roots of the tree on spoonbill island
13 dunlin
3 turnstone
7 grey plovers (Lifer)
50+ redshanks
7 spotted redshanks
600+ black tailed godwits
3 bar tailed godwit (Lifer)
1000+ avocets
27 curlews
200+ oystercatcher including one with a brown back instead of a black one and I was wondering if this mean it was a first winter bird.
1 grey wagtail
Many wigeon and teal with smaller numbers of canada, dark-bellied brent and greylag geese.
When we got back to poole the tide so the DB Brent geese were a lot closer and there were a lot more waders and gulls but was in a rush so didn't get s good look.
If you are in the poole area I would massively recommend this reserve any time of year.

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Joel Tragen wrote:

First day of our four day trip.

And probably most surprising was 1 male ring necked parakeets with 4 more calling. Seen from the garden of the bankes arm country inn.



This is a well known site for the species Joel, I first went to Purbeck 25 years ago & we always popped down to the Bankes Arms area to get our yeartick of Ring-necked Parakeet. This was before the days that they were 'easy' in Greater Manchester. They used to breed in a tree hole in Middle Beach car park, Studland back in those days, may still do!

Have a great trip smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 30th of October 2015 10:07:55 AM

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First day of our four day trip.
We decided that today we would walk to old harry's rocks from the national trust car park at studland bay.
On the way we found a nice flock of goldcrest with at least 70 birds with 3 chiffchaff (that we could see with them). Then in the blackthorns on the cliff top, ne'er to old Harry, there were at least 15 chiffchaffs fly-catching and I picked up on at least 30 more goldcrest.
2 black necked grebe on the water between South beach and studland bay
We picked up at least 5 mediterranean gulls constantly flying between the two beachs.
20+ paled-bellied Brent geese feeding on the sea between studland bay and old harry, however no on the other side of old harry.
5 Rock pipits squabbling at the bottom of the cliffs.
2 stonechats
A flock of 50 or so linnets which were scared up by a female sparrowhawk who also scared up a charm of goldfinches feeding on the ground as well.
3 oystercatchers
31 robins seen thoughout the day 29 of which were on the Cliff top path either in the brambles, bracken or blackthorns with many looking to be from the continent.
A group of 30+ meadow pipits.
And probably most surprising was 1 male ring necked parakeets with 4 more calling. Seen from the garden of the bankes arm country inn.
The car journey down to Dorset was amazing as well with:
4 fox
1 owl (most likely tawny owl but only a brief glimpse as it went for a bat above our car)
1 bat

And my first ever badger.
Tomorrow we have decided to go to brownsea Island which should be outstanding. Typical that just as I head off on holiday to Dorset a short eared owl turns up 2 miniute from my house but you win some, you lose some.

-- Edited by Joel Tragen on Thursday 29th of October 2015 11:39:22 PM

-- Edited by Joel Tragen on Thursday 29th of October 2015 11:39:51 PM

-- Edited by Joel Tragen on Thursday 29th of October 2015 11:40:25 PM

-- Edited by Joel Tragen on Thursday 29th of October 2015 11:44:14 PM

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Trip down to Portland this morning for the Brunnich's Guillemot which gave good views in the Inner Harbour despite almost getting rundown by a rowing boat!! some great birds about including
40+ Red Breasted Merganser
Razorbill
Black Guillemot
Shag
Cormorant
Great Norther Diver
Black Throated Diver
Red Throated Diver
plus Slavonian, Red Neck and Great Crested Grebe

at Radipole the Hooded Merganser was showing well and a Glossy Ibis just up the road was a nice bonus. Then hotfooted it across to Brixham for the White Billed Diver

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Just as dusk was settling in over the camp site tonight at Corfe Castle area, a nightjar was seen feeding on two occasions. Great views!

Cheers Matt

-- Edited by Matt Pitt on Thursday 22nd of August 2013 11:21:10 PM

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A short visit to Durdle door yielded some very interesting raptors in the form of : Peregrine 1 Kestrel 3 Best of all an Osprey being mobbed by a crow and a kestral! Cheers Matt

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Lodmoor RSPB 2nd October:

Myself and Henry Cook visited the South coast for a few days including a day trip to the Scillies.

Our first stop was Lodmoor RSPB for the reported Short-billed Dowitcher.

The weather was looking pretty awful on arrival around 4.30pm with a blustery wind and heavy rain and no sign of the bird.

Our persistence finally paid off however when the Dowitcher was flushed out of the reeds by a Black-headed Gull harrassing a Grey Heron.

Great views were then had as the bird feed in the muddy margins with several Common Snipe.

Although the bird is undergoing a moult into 1st Winter plumage, the barring of the tertials was easy to see. A cracking bird and with only 3 records of the bird to date in the UK, it made for an exciting and great start to the trip!

-- Edited by Phil Owen on Saturday 6th of October 2012 04:49:34 PM

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Saturday 6th August Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door
(grey morning with light rain, cleared midday to sunshine and heat in afternoon. Rained again in evening)

Another day on the beach, some time to relax and a nice long swim (round the cove - about a km) tired me out.

Peregrine 1
Stonechat 3
Meadow Pipit 8
Skylark 2

Sunday 7th August Wimborne to West Runton (Norfolk)
(grey with rain and sunshine at other times)

Nothing of note whilst travelling except a Red Kite which flew over the M25 from inside to outside!?

All in all a cracking visit to Dorset and a place I wil no doubt visit again, probably next year. So many places and so much potential to find your own birds away from other people, whist enjoying walks in the courtyside without the sight of any dogs or scallies!?!

Obvious highlights included watching Hobby on a daily basis, seeing my first Stilt Sandpiper and getting extraordinary views of it, finding small flocks of Med Gulls, all in adult winter plumage looking stunning, hearing Turtle Dove in the tree tops, finding my first Woodlark in the UK, hearing my first Quail for years and finding the ever decreasing Lesser Pecker.............


-- Edited by Sean Sweeney on Tuesday 16th of August 2011 12:40:49 PM

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Friday 5th August Portland Bill & Radipole Lake, Lodmoor Marsh, Weymouth
(clear, sunny with some cloud and a little windy near Bill, but warm)

Today we went walking around Portland, to the 'Bill' and explored the clifftops, coastal paths and even popped in to the Bird Observatory. Although the conditions weren't great for migrants there was still a constant chatter above you as Linnets exploded from every bush, hirundines fed frantically low over the heath and willow warblers seemed to be within every other bush or tree. At about 15 per person per night the Observatory is good value too, but I suspect it gets booked up pretty early for those more magical migration months. Views over to Chessil Beach were spectacular too.

Portland
Gannet 50+
Shag 10+
Fulmar 1
Kestrel 4
Yellow Wagtail 2
Pied Wagtail
Rock Pipit 14+
Meadow Pipit 10+
Willow Warbler 4+
Linnet 200+
Wheatear 50+
Stonechat 8+
Swift 20+
Swallow 40+
Sand Martin 6+
House Martin 30+


Radipole Lake
I see this is a well visited place over the last few years, but I didn't have time to stop for longer than 5 minutes, as the parking attendant was coming my way and I didn't have a pay and display ticket. I did however chat to the staff about the Hooded Merganser that is now in eclipse plumage. Unfortunetly it has now been classified as an escape, so without being the bearer of bad news I imagine a few people nationwide will need to adjust their UK species Lists . Next time I'll try and get out and about a bit more and see some of the reserve.

Gadwall 12
Tufted Duck 30+ (including a youngster)
Great Crested Grebe 6+
Little Grebe 2



Lodmoor

Another visit to Lodmoor made up for last time rarity wise. The Stilt Sandpiper showed brilliantly and I even managed to get a little video of it and a few poor photos. It was a cracking individual with lots of the barring on the chest still showing well and a little of rufous cheek still there too. It was also good seeing it up close and with other waders, such as Dunlin, Redshank and BT Godwits.

Stilt Sandpiper 1(adult)
Dunlin 20+
Black-tailed Godwit 12
Redshank 6
Green Sandpiper 1
Little Egret 3
Sandwich Tern 20+
Common Tern 30+
Whitethroat 4

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Thursday 4th August Wimborne & Tarrant Rushton Airfield
(cloudy with light rain on and off all day, bright late on in early evening)

We spent the day pottering around Wimborne, so little birdwise done, but during late afternoon/early evening we went for a stroll around the old deserted Tarrant Rsuhton Airfield. You can walk all around the old runways, that have huge wheat fields, fallow fields and pens with pigs in them. The sun shone and Quail were calling here there and everywhere, although I think there were no more than 4 calling birds.

Quail 4 (heard only)
Green Woodpecker
Corn Bunting 14+
Raven 2
Stock Dove 20+
Skylark 40+
Hobby 1

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Wednesday 3rd August New Forest (Beuilieu rd station woodfidley south of Lyndhurst)
(sunny all day, but clouded over during evening rain arrived at approx 10pm)

This area is actually Hampshire, so I apologise for not having it in a thread there, but nevermind. The New Forest is a spectacular area of lowland heath, open and closed forests that spread over what looks like forever when you are standing in the middle of it. I would truly recommend a visit here to anybody, as it was pretty void of people and with patience and careful observations many birds can be unearthed.

Buzzard 2
Hobby 1
Stock Dove 6
Turtle Dove 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 12+
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker 1
Green Woodpecker 3
Meadow Pipit 20+
Skylark 10+
Wood Lark 1
Whitethroat 4
Redstart 4+ (all juvs)
Stonechat 10+
Marsh Tit 10+
Linnet 20+

Plus some spectacular Green-washed Frittilary Butterflies, cracking large butterflies throughout open areas of woodland.


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Tuesday 2nd August Weymouth Beach & Lodmoor Marsh
(sunny all day hot)

Another cracking day meant we headed out from Wimborne to Weymouth to soak up some rays on the beach again - you have to make the most of it in this country to be fair. We parked up next to Lodmoor reserve and trecked about before heading for the beach, but there was no sign of the Stilt Sandpiper despite looking in all areas that had water that were in view. However, it is a cracking little reserve and I saw the following in about 2 hours there:

Little Egret 4
Grey Heron 10+
Hobby 2
Greenshank 1
Green Sandpiper 4
Common Sandpiper 1
Black-tailed Godwit 3
Dunlin 17
Med Gull 4+
Sandwich Tern 40+
Common Tern 100+
Reed Warbler 1
Sedge Warbler 10+
Whitethroat 6+

Hopefully the weather would stay fine and we'd be back!!

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Monday 1st August Mudeford Beach and Christchurch Marsh/Harbour
(sunny all day hot)

I spent the day lying on the beach watching the odd Sandwich Tern and having a swim in the rather warm water, which was a bit of a surprise. After the toils of having to sit still for most of the day we took a visit to tht Harbour and then had a stroll out into Christchurch Marsh, though the tide was low.

Little Egret 20+
Grey Heron 12
Hobby 1
Greenshank 1
Green Sandpiper 2
Common Sandpiper 17
Whimbrel 14+
Curlew 20+
Dunlin 12+
Med Gull 2
Sandwich Tern 30+
Common Tern 20+
Redstart 1
Wheatear 3

This aera is obvisouly a cracking place and if I had timed my visit a little better with respect to the tide levels I might have found something more special, but it capped off a beautiful day .


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Sunday 31st July Wimborne Village & Hod Hill (Iron Age Fort & Chalklands)
(sunny morning, but some cloud and a little windy in afternoon)

I had gone up here in the hope of seeing lots of lovely chalkland butterflies, but the weather was not as expected and so not a great deal was in the air. We had a picnic and enjoyed the surrounds none the less, with a lovely forest walk along the way too:

Buzzard 2
Hobby 1
Sand Martin 20+
Redstart 1
Spotted Flycatcher 2
Wheatear 1

The view from the top is great though and I imagine in the right conditions would allow for excellent vis mig.

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Saturday 30th July Studland Heath Old Harrys Rock
(cloudy start, sunny in afternoon)

We drove over to Poole Harbour area and crossed over to the other side of the bay no a car ferry. The whole area has massive lowland heath and schrub, ideal for all sorts of birds and insects, but we were only over to one area for a walk along the headland, so it was a pretty limited birding trip to be fair, but the barbeque on the clifftops was cracking

Buzzard 2
Kestrel 1
Shag 1
Med Gull 10+
Kittiwake 2
Sandwich Tern 10+
Common Tern 20+
Wheatear 1
Rock Pipit 2
Meadow Pipit 2
Willow Warbler 6
Whitethroat 6
Bullfinch 4

This area of the coast, just before the spectacular Jurrasic coastline is a brilliant place to visit and has so many good sites, particularly around Poole Harbour, with over 100 miles of coast within the natural Poole Harbour. Next time I'll definetely pay a visit to Arne and Brownsea Island too.


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Seeing as the only posts for Dorset include other areas and are linked to individual trips to Dorset and other counties I think this County deserves its own thread.

I spent a week in Dorset (arriving on the evening of Fri July 29th and departed for Norfolk on Sun Aug 7th). THe weather overall was fine, with much sunshine and I was spoilt for choice in destinations to visit, with a true wealth of beautiful sites to visit, whether for birds, butterflies or dragonflies. I purchased the newly revised 'Where to Watch' for the area and coupled with a read through the 'Birds of Dorset' I was prepared for a few new birds and getting to see and hear some of those species that don't appear in the North West on a regular basis.

Well, I managed to see/hear 140 species over 16 days between Dorset and Norfolk (see Norfolk thread for the second week of my holiday), of which I saw 114 species in Dorset (2 of these were actually in Hampshire to be fair) including two new species for my British List, one of which was a lifer for me, Stilt Sandpiper .

I will be writing a trip report for two week holiday for the forum, but have broken my daily sightings into the following posts for those who are interested. I probably could have seen a lot more, but this wasn't really a birding holiday as I was with my wife who is now over 6 months pregnant, so most of where I went and birded was with her too, so no crazy early mornings or strolling around forests in the pitch black I'm afraid....

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