Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Walk Like An Egyptian - The Bangles

Yesterday was another fine one, after the early morning deluge, and probably the last one of the month when Egyptian Goose might be added to the 'ongoing' County Month List. Also in store was a chance of locating the Surf Scoter, for the same reason, but having last been seen from a view point not at all familiar plus the fact most of the area is 'out of bounds', geography and daring were to be the two main considerations! Firstly, a quick walk along the central path at Longham Lakes to view what were the
now draining nicely and attracting 'hundreds' of birds
but not the 'target' Goose.
 Pulling into my favoured farm gateway at the Avon Causeway
first in sight was this lone
 quickly followed by a second.
Further up river was also a female, out of camera range, with it
 soon becoming apparent that 'Love was in the air'
 as one male started stalking the other.
 Exciting viewing,
 causing a little camera shake,
 as the dominant bird soon dealt with the likely rival.
 To the Victor the Spoils
 Femme de la Femme
 In addition there are still somewhere in the region of
here, while all other sightings will be reported at a later date.
With a second 'blank' on the Goose it was a drive down to
where the weather seemed to have claimed this yacht and the
Sandbanks were full of Waders.
(Brownsea Island and Castle in the background)
 predominated with well over 50 individuals
 with c2 already being in
 full Summer Plumage,
 what a sight!
 As ever at this location
 were numerous
 and not adverse to sharing the victuals with the Godwits.
 Second to the Godwit in numbers were c33
 showing little signs of fear unlike the half dozen or so
Curlew which didn't really come within camera range.
 Down at the Chain Ferry,
connecting Sandbanks with the Studland Peninsular,
 the 2 Purple Sandpipers favouring the ferry slipway
 had been replaced by this young
 The top 2 images were taken from the land while the others
from the deck of the ferry.
From memory, I have never visited Ower Bay in Poole Harbour so a little research, via Google Maps, was needed. Both the Rempstone Estate and British Petroleum seem reluctant to welcome visitors here (from the number of No Access signs) but as ever I would rely on Banksy "it is easier to get forgiveness than permission" so ever onward. Consulting the Ordnance Survey Chart it was clear I was somewhere near but would now have to walk across
and a huge waterlogged field, about 2 miles in all. Nearing the field there was another metalled road which, had I known, would have allowed driving a little closer but wouldn't have altered the result. By this time there was a full gale blowing, making scanning the disturbed waters difficult, but on the face of it the bird was not there so return to car, relocate. Driving the newly discovered road, complete with more signage, there was a grassy knoll allowing a slightly better view across Ower Bay where the Surf Scoter could be seen at great distance. Hardly satisfactory, at least it was seen but not recommended for anyone wanting to add this species to their Life List. On the way back to Harbins a final bid (which may be the last of the month with other 'fish to fry') was made for the Egyptians at Longham which ended in yet another 'BLANK'!
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