Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Back Among the 'Pheasant Pluckers'

Another start at first light following my usual track through the cemetery where it was all but bird-less. Radipole wasn't as productive as yesterday but the Lapwings remain, Cetti's Warbler & Water Rails were as usual vocal while some of the wildfowl were close enough to photograph.

A couple of female Shoveler,

male Tufted Duck

and female Tufted Duck.

On leaving the reserve, this 'colour ringed' Pied Wagtail was perched atop the Bowls Club and may prove interesting to one of the local recorders if anything can be made of the combination and colour of the rings? A walk along the sea-front killed a little time until once again I boarded the X53 service this time to the east. Today's target was a little more exotic than the Lyme Regis Dipper but no more exciting or beautiful.

Arriving at Christchurch, Dorset's most easterly town on the western edge of the New Forest, the 'welcome committee' could not have been better. Busking in the subway this man was playing the best banjo sound I had ever heard live - worth a 'quid' of any one's money.

My target had been at the Stanpit Marsh Nature Reserve for a few days now and along with a Whooper Swan and a Curlew Sandpiper, both also of great interest, the prospects looked good.

A cursory scan across the marsh, there was little to see except for Mudeford in the distance,

so I followed the path (and the directions kindly sent to me by Kevin Lane the Dorset County Bird Recorder) to the

Visitor's Centre where there was a very warm welcome but the news on the Swan and Wader was not good, "not seen today"! On the other hand what I had come for was viewable from the window, so just a short walk back through the gate and the

Glossy Ibis was at point blank range.

This was an addition to the GB Year List, bringing the total to 159.

It must be at least a decade since I last visited this reserve so a great opportunity to refresh my memory, firstly looking across the marsh towards

Christchurch Priory,

then Hengistbury Head with Christchurch Harbour opening up to the left of picture.

There were a few other, more common, species to be seen like this

Blue Tit,

several Little Egret,

a fairly obliging Curlew

with lots of Mallard and

Mute Swans.

It proved most useful, in more ways than one, to have received an invitation to stay overnight at my friends in Parley Court, where on arrival Janet was digging potatoes for tonight's soup, followed by

both of us greeting Hugh as he brought home the main course. This was quickly turned to

this and very much enjoyed with a 'young' Burgundy followed by Lemon Tart and cream - yum yum!

No comments:

Post a Comment