Sunday, 9 July 2017

Hobby Spotted At Arne + Patch Update

4th July
Yup, it's that time of year when I'm swamped with work and I simply can't find time to get out. It also doesn't help that my local patch is incredibly quiet at this time of the year.

Still, I'm on holiday this week and I kicked it off by going to Arne as Ospreys were regularly showing there. I arrived with my wife eager to see the birds, only to be told that they don't tend to show up until the afternoon. Damn.

Olly Frampton identified this as a Black-Tailed Skimmer.
Sadly it was a pretty quiet day and there were few birds around. We reached the first lookout point where the ospreys could be viewed from and started scanning the area, but there was nothing to see. My wife then pointed out a bird to me and said, what's that?

It was too small for an Osprey but I excitedly blurted out Hobby. I couldn't tell because the light glare was so harsh, but I couldn't think of what else it could be. I started having doubts that it was a Kestrel, but the wings didn't look right.

My first ever Hobby, such a handsome looking bird.
We walked down to the hide where we saw a pair of Sika Deer and a large number of Shelduck, but it was otherwise quiet and we headed back and went to Wareham river. It was relatively quiet there as well, although I saw plenty of Reed Warblers and around 20 Swallows that were perched in a bush in a bid to escape the rising heat.

One of the deer we spotted from the hide.
Swallows are a lot easier to photograph when they land!
Several of the Swallows that were resting. A bad pic as sun was directly in front of me.
5th July
I headed to Longham in the late afternoon, but it wasn't the best time of day as it was absolutely sweltering. It was also a pretty unexciting walk around the lake, although it was nice to see a large number of baby Tufted Ducks on the two lakes.

Highlights for the day was a glimpse of my first Kingfisher of the year, around 70 Starlings that were hanging around the industrial site and a lone Sandwich Tern, my first record at the sight, which was a rather pleasant surprise.

A very distant Sandwich Tern and my first seen at Longham.
6th July
I went down to Poole Park today because I'd seen a Swan Goose and wanted to get better pictures. It's a weird looking goose and very distinctive due to its large heavy bill. It's typically found around China and Russia, so this one was most likely an escapee. The big surprise is that as I was watching it blend in with a small flock of Greylags and Canada Geese it was soon joined by a second!

One of two Swan Geese that I saw at Poole Park.

I headed down the lakes again this evening but it was another dull day, most likely due to the insane heat. Highlights were 9 Lapwings on the small island (the most I've ever seen there) and around 120 Starlings in the car park when I first rolled up. I also saw 5 Song Thrushes bounding around the car park.

I love how natural this Song Thrush looks.
7th July
Another trip and this time I went with Martin Wood, who also has his own blog. It was easily the quietest trip out of the three, with the only real excitement being provided by a Roe Deer which was grazing in the bushes at the end of the causeway. Oh and we saw a Tufted Duck with a staggering 17 chicks.

I've had a pretty quiet week, but that was through my own choice. I was tempted to got to Nottingham to see the Bee-eaters, but travelling around the UK for birds is a dangerous game that I'm not prepared to play just yet. I'm simply happy pottering around Dorset.

Whitethroat hiding in the reeds at Longham Lakes.
I quite like this reflection shot of a Great-Crested Grebe.