Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A 'Fleeting' Glimpse

It was another gloomy day yesterday with more than a little moisture in the air, but with the prospect of yet another scarce bird it was 'game on'. Once again the X53 service got me to my destination, the quaint village of Langton Herring nestled in woodland just above the Fleet and Chesil Beach.

There are still a few of the old style, red phone boxes about with this one at Langton always looking pristine.

Passing the Church and

and some of the newer cottages you soon reach the

open fields where there was time to look back across the village before

continuing down the grassy slopes to Rodden Hive. The alternative to this path would have been to head straight to Herbury where the bird had also been seen, but a 'gut feeling' sent me in this direction.

The 'Hive' which is the small bay just beyond the line of bushes is an ideal refuge for a number of bird species and already in the book were Yellowhammer, Goldcrest, Skylark, Pheasant but surprisingly no Common Buzzard.

I didn't have to wait or search long for my prize as reaching the shore it was the first bird in my binoculars.

The Common Crane is not at all what the name suggests, common in Dorset

and while I have only seen 6 in the county I have been lucky enough to 'find' 2 of them.

After a very short while a small bird flew across the Fleet catching my eye, which was this Kingfisher

while in the nearby spinney Jays were letting out their raucous calls as a couple of Mistle Thrushes flew overhead.

This one's for John Gifford

Meanwhile, the Crane was content to continue preening and doing a little wing stretching.

After about an hour of checking through all the birds in the cove, including Wigeon, Shoveler, Mute Swan, Mediterranean Gull and Little Egret it was time to move on towards Moonfleet just a short distance to the east.

Passing the Langton Coastguard Cottages,

Herbury Gore (the point of land centre picture) lay ahead of me

while in bay the was a Black Swan (doubtless straight in from Australia) in with the Mute Swans.

There are 2 World War II Pill Boxes along this stretch, this one still having some turf on the roof which may or may not have been camouflage in its active days?

Brent Geese were well represented and flighty, as

were Mute Swans

but I only recorded 2 female Red-breasted Merganser my first of the autumn.

There were quite a few Redshank as well

but as usual didn't stick around too long once they caught sight of me. However, they were not the most numerous Wader as 41 Turnstones were feeding along the shingle beach in company with 2 Dunlin and a Sanderling but all too nervy to get in shot. The only other of this family group were a small flock of about a dozen Golden Plover that flew over the Chesil Bank from seaward then disappeared as quickly as they had arrived.

Reaching Butter Street Cove

there were a good number of birds on the water mainly Wigeon & Mute Swans.

This dainty little Toadstool was in the meadow just before

Moonfleet Church which is always a joy to visit,

with just a couple of the cottages in Fleet Village also in view. Here, as usual, there were plenty of Jackdaw and Rook but in addition the were also at least 4 Great Spotted Woodpecker and a single Green Woodpecker. Always a great walk along any stretch of the Fleet with the day being just that!