Friday, 30 November 2018

Short Eared Owls & Sparrowhawk

Date: 26th- 29th November
Dorset, Newton St Loe
Mainly dry
Species Highlights: 
Red Breasted Merganser, Mediterranean Gull. Dark Bellied Goose, Skylark, Short Eared Owl, Raven, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk.
In the search for a few more ticks to end the year on 200, Monday morning me & Lauren headed down to Weymouth with high hopes. we got to Ferrybridge as you never know what'll come in.... not a lot was the the answer to that question! we did see Dunlin, Mediterranean gull and 20 Dark Bellied Geese but very little else.

Alway good to to see Med gulls, we don't see them up this way much. 

Plenty of Black Headed.

Brent, Brant, Pale I'm going for Dark Bellied Brent Geese.

Looked great in the morning sunshine.

A few Skylark kept buzzing past, giving us great views of this bird that on patch is normally 1/2 mile up in the sky!

Moving on from Ferrybridge we dropped into Portland Castle nothing going on so carried on to the Bill. Parking at Sweet Hill Lane and walking down over top fields, I'd say the most abundant bird seemed to be Kestrel 5/6 seemed to be hunting as we looked down towards the Lighthouse. 

Even closer views of Skylark, perfect light too.

As we scanned the fields we spotted a Short Eared Owl hunting, then 2 more!
They were hunting in middle of the fields so not close views so headed on down to coastline.

Linnet, Skylarks and more Kestrel and this Raven onking kept us entertained, nothing from the coastline, so wandered back up to see if Owls were showing better.

Sat right in middle of fields but still looking good.

While watching 2 Peregrine raced over the top heading for the East cliffs.

A few other birders had turnned up, It was quite nice to have Owls to ourselves in the morning. One togger walked out into middle of the field(no footpath) and at that point the Owls came closer to other end leaving him in middle of field with no Owls! 

The SEO made up for not getting any new ticks for me and Lauren, a good day.

Wednesday had planned to go to Salisbury Plain but weather was against me so sat inside watching the rain hammering down but plenty of birds on our feeders.

Plenty of Blue Tits.

3 Coal Tits, seems to be a lot of these here and around patch recently.

Plus the always present Goldfinch.

We often get Collared dove and the pesky Wood Pigeons, I do try to put feeders so Woodies can't perch on tree and empty feeders.

Not so many Great Tits.

 Great to have a Greater Spotted woodpecker too, or so i thought my new 10 port feeder is taking the brunt of her visits, she's already broken one of the ports.

So Thursday and thankfully the rain had stopped but wind was howling, I headed out around patch. 
Onto Dog walk and Redwing, Blackbirds were giving lots of warning calls I stood and wondered why, when this Sparrowhawk raced through the bushed and circled above me.

This female keeping everything on its toes! While writing this Blog she's keeps screaming through my feeder tree leaving the feeders empty, but stunning to see.

Not much change on patch, Mute swans have returned again, Jen back on Lower lake and 2 Adults and a single juvenile have returned to top Lake, i wonder where they go ??

Redwing all over patch but only saw 1 Fieldfare, strange?
More corvids than normal all feeding on back drive, 3 Raven also seem today.


So next week as Christmas draws closer what will be the last 3 ticks for me and Laurens 16 (still hope!!) 

Thanks For Looking! 
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