Saturday, 10 October 2009

Chasing a Big List

It was up at 06-00 and out an hour later for our first day of the 'bird chase' and hoping to get P & T a couple of 'lifers'. Radipole, compared to in the week, was poor by comparison and dreams of 40 species before Portland were dashed. The only redeeming factor was the Hooded Merganser was in view, and like many hundreds of visiting birders before them, they'll leave Dorset with it in their log, regardless of provenance. Thinking things were bad there, worse was to follow as we didn't see a single Wader at Ferry Bridge, with just Little Egret, Linnet and Meadow Pipit being new on the day list. Precious little was happening at the Obs so the short walk to the quarry was thought to add Little Owl, but that too was absent. Surely things would change, and fortunately we didn't have to wait long. Our arrival at the Obs gate coincided with Ian Dodd who had just tended the mist nets in the field opposite, and he had bagged a Yellow-browed Warbler. My guests were completely awstruck by the size and pattern of this little gem, and maybe needless to say this was a welcome addition to their World List. The Ruddy Shelduck were on show at the North Hide, when we returned to Radipole, with the only other additions being Long-tailed Tit, Whinchat, Water Rail and an overflying Siskin. With the day total standing at 64 and seemingly few birds we decided to take a break for a well deserved snack and cup of tea.

Yellow-browed Warbler - also a Year Tick for me

bringing my annual total to 247

Brimstone Butterfly - this seems a little late, but I'll have to check

Batteries recharged, we continued the quest and headed for Lodmoor. Armed with Daragh's morning report we were prepared to chase the 6 outstanding species he had reported and hit straight into Reed Bunting. Both Godwit, Wigeon, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Green Woodpecker, Pochard, Lapwing and Stock Dove followed in fairly quick succession, with a look over the sea wall netting a lone Common Scoter. Arriving at the Marlborough for haddock, chips and mushy peas the list stood at 75, then we attended Joy next doors 70 birthday party, followed by an earlyish night. We're all looking forward to tomorrow!

Willow Warbler - annual in good numbers both migrations

Siskin - on occasions large falls both ends

Linnets, Brambling and what I have never been happy with as Song Thrush?? Comments please!

Greenfinch - annual at both migrations

Song Thrush - scarce, like buses, but when one arrived so did a few others