Monday, 27 February 2017

To the Runner - Jon Anderson

From the SENSATIONAL 
and maybe somewhat overlooked album by
Jon Anderson - ex Yes
OLIAS of SUNHILLOW
Harrier - (Cross Country) Runner - get it?
Another 'away day' and even though to the same location as in more recent days, Poole Harbour, an altogether different part with the potential of a selection of differing species of Birds? This time we stuck more or less to the southern rim of the second largest Natural Harbour in the World, making a particularly good start on arrival at Middlebere. There, and almost immediately we spotted a female
HEN HARRIER
quartering the reed-bed and while there were c2 Marsh Harrier in view
at the same time our full attention was focused on this much more scarce raptor.

Even if not a single bird were noted on any visit to this out of the way location,
the tiny Hamlet alone provides excellent value, as was the case,
as all else to be added to the list were a good number of
DUNLIN
(added to the Dorset List)
video
along with a decent gaggle of
BRENT GEESE
Onward towards Studland Bay, which the 'pureists' will tell you forms the
eastern perimeter of the harbour, as usual we could not resist the temptation
to stop and admire the
video
HIGHLAND CATTLE 
 (which at this visit appear to have doubled in numbers since our last visit)

 
 which form part of what we feel is 'no coincidence
Scotland Farm! 
  video
 From the 'in car' camera approaching
CORFE CASTLE
 With a number of scans of the telescope revealing nothing on a very
choppy sea, the only interest lay in
MEDITERRANEAN GULL
viewed from above at the elevated Middle Beach Car Park
and given the absence of anything else this
CARRION CROW
took centre stage.
Save for the Harrier, bird-wise it had been a case of fairly lean pickings,
but our trump card was to visit the village of Studland in the hope of the speciality there.
We didn't have to wait long to hear the raucous screeches of the local
RING-NECKED PARAKEET
which not unusually took some time to bring to view.
It was the somewhat strange behaviour of Herring Gulls that drew us to their perch,
as the Gulls were flying around the trees, seeming mobbing them, behaviour we have never seen before.
Arriving at the
immediately there was an addition to the Year List
RINGED PLOVER
in good numbers but little else.

Avoiding the Chain Link Ferry on this occasion we returned via the same route
and found along the way a few
SPRING LAMBs but nothing else to report!
The Full Album
Olias of Sunhillow - Jon Anderson

OLIAS was to build the ship the Moorglade Mover
RANYART was to guide the moments begotten light
QOQUAQ a leader, and fashioner of peoples was 
charged to unite the 4 tribes of Sunhillow.

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Saturday, 25 February 2017

Mellow Yellow - Donavan

The precursor to Storm Doris, which didn't effect us here in the south of England quite as much as elsewhere across the country, was yet another short pulse of Mothable overnight temperatures. This inspired us to activate 2 of our traps but catching only c3 Insects over 2 nights one of which was a
'first for the year' 
DARK CHESTNUT
It also seemed to induce the
DAFFODIL
(Mellow Yellow Link)
buds to burst while raising the sap in other creatures such as the
SEBASTOPOL GEESE
on Parley Pond. Also there we found another
female
video
WIGEON
content at the time to just graze the grass on the island.
Numbers of
MEADOW PIPIT
along with
PIED WAGTAIL
have also showed a marked increase,
and we also have a minimum of c4
video
GREEN SANDPIPER
video
across the Recording Area.
 COOT
have also more than doubled in numbers,
video
video
as there is now a pair on the Irrigation Pond with a third on the Gravel Pit.
Seen here diving for Pond Weed not only for food but as was noted last
year also a part of the breeding ritual. 3 nests were built during that period.
It is unusual for
BLACK-HEADED GULL
to alight on the ponds, so considered notable,
video
(except when bread is offered)
but they were soon gone!
Best find of the day was undoubtedly the appearance/return of a
LITTLE GREBE
video
actively feeding
and compered with others at sites such as Longham and Radipole
showing some signs of 'summer plummage'.
video
At a distance it was seen preening and also
video
 heard 'singing', we now look forward to its Mate turning up?
Back at Parley Pond the
WIGEON
video
had obviously received her 'sailing orders' and put to sea

getting something of a mild rebuke from one of the local male
MALLARD
but all in all seemed content enough.
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Friday, 24 February 2017

Extra, Extra Read All About It

As something of a 'catch-up' we publish these images in an
Extra Post
before they get out of date.
Apologies for no prior notification!
The Strange Rover windscreen at the Last Frost,
seems a long time ago now!
 A 'highwire act' indeed
 BLACK-HEADED GULLs
 on telephone cables.
Just one of the c2
COOTs
stayed for a second day but strayed to the Irrigation Pond.
video
(here with a MOORHEN)
Most, of what little action there has been, was confined to the
Moors River and associate Water Meadows
where once again
 BLACK-HEADED GULL
video
 featured
this being the first of the year we have noted with a
video
Black Head
Hampered somewhat by distance and poor light
 next up was certainly the
video
 Bird of the Day
 and will, likely as not, also qualify as
Bird of the Month
video
 as this is only the 'second'
 BLACK-TAILED GODWIT
ever to have been seen within our
Recording Area!
Maybe it followed us back from our Poole Harbour trip?
 A lone
HERRING GULL
was all else there before we moved on to a slightly misty
 MERRITOWN HEATH
 where all of note were
 c2
 ROE DEER
in quick succession.
 It was also noted that one of the
Tawny Owl Boxes
seems to have been occupied by 'something', but given the nesting material
thought rather a Grey Squirrel than any species of Owl.
Here's hoping this might be the year!
 The Puddle of Mud
as it has been dubbed is also attracting the odd
Green Sandpiper
which was just a little too lively for us today,
 while this deformed branch from a wind-blown
SILVER BIRCH
was also of interest.
 What was far 'less' interesting, in fact darn right annoying, was the
Solar Panel Grass Cutting Contractors
showed up and even not their Part of Ship laid this area, of what was 
seed bearing tall grass and host to about 100 overwintering Goldfinch et al, to waste.
The cuttings were even disposed of leaving no food source at all for the birds,
which haven't been seen there since. The Reader can be assured of a terse word in their 
Shell Like in the hope of no recurrence again at this time of year.
Finally, and had we not spotted the Godwit, this
SHELDUCK
 found among the hubbub of the workforce at the back of the
Eco Recycling Centre
would have stolen the show as not only the first of the year for our area,
but the first of the winter.
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