Thursday, 8 March 2018

No Ross's but a Brambling bonus

Date: 08/03/2018
Location: Dorset & Blashford + Patch (Newton St Loe)
Weather: Blue Skies, Very Cold, Wind
Species Highlights: 
Red Breasted Merganser, Turnstone, Avocet, Brambling, Siskin.

Observation: 
Blue skies were forecast so headed down to Dorset, Ferrybridge for that pesky Ross's Gull, started early, too early. Got up at 5:15am to travel down with Allan Chard and arrived at 7:25am a few other birders where already on there scopes scanning the almost desolate Ferrybridge. A few Black Headed, Greater Black Backed, Herring and Lesser Gulls was about it apart from a small group of Dunlin. 


We took are place and waited in the freezing cold wind...... Waited nothing happened, a group of Turnstone came within a few feet of us but no Ross's Gull in fact no sighting for the entire day, maybe it's gone?



After seeing some stunning Red Breasted Merganser at Portland Harbour we headed towards Radipole to wait a bit more for that gull, but very little going on there so off to Lodmoor. Avocet being the highlights although asleep.



A Stunning Black Tailed Godwit posed nicely for a few shots.



When the light is right photography is easy!



Time now was 12:30, can't go home so early so we decided to head home via Blashford Lakes it was only 33 miles away, with the hope of a Thayer's gull, Ring Billed Gull or even a Brambling we headed off. 

On arriving noticing a coach in the car park but thinking nothing of it, the hide was solid! Could just squeeze a view out the window at the very distant gulls, gulls were actually 540 meters or 3rd of a mile away not chance to id anything but white dots! 
We headed around to the Woodland hide, good move first bird, Male Brambling, took lots of pictures with Siskin, Greater Spotted Woodpeckers and Nuthatch coming to feeders.



Female Brambling showed better than the male but great looking birds.


Just don't see them much around here.


Siskin always little crackers.



Not the target bird but hey can't have it all, plus these made up for it.

Went around patch - Newton St Loe on Wednesday with some success.
this lovely Roe buck posed then vanished into the undergrowth.



My mission was to try to get a few closer shots of the Yellowhammer but this Buzzard was sat on their favourite bush when I arrived, he took off showing me his stunning tail pattern, I don't think this is John hurt the Buzzard on patch with the face growth but still beautiful.


There have been fewer Yellowhammer about since the cold spell but still around 25 seen, and nope couldn't get closer despite using my camo netting, sat patiently for 45 mins. 


Mine you Buzzard and Kestrel actively hunting around the area no wonder.



A beautiful little Wren did let me get closer, briefly.
No changes on lakes and no Hawfinch heard or seen today.


After putting lots of seed down for Yellowhammers thought i'd head back same way home, spotted this large group of Stock dove around 40 birds seen. Distant but trust me, Stock Dove.


A few Treecreeper about saw 3 different birds always moving so fast managed a half decent shot.


On getting home pleased to see this male Blackcap taking my count to 41 species.


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