Trip reports

Members Weekend to Dorset Friday 11 to Monday 14 May 2018

Members Weekend to Dorset Friday 11 to Monday 14 May 2018
Dartford warbler - Chris Briggs

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Most of the group were up early on Saturday morning to walk around the Dorset Wildlife Trust Sculpture Park situated across from the hotel to search for summer migrants. The hunt was disappointing with only a common whitethroat and swallow found with the singing wrens, dunnock and blackbird.
After breakfast we visited RSPB Radipole reserve in Weymouth where reed, sedge and Cetti's warblers were heard and after some searching found for good views. Swifts, swallows, house and sand martins were flying overhead and bearded tits could be heard and briefly seen skimming over the reedbed. In the water, coot, mallard, gadwall, common shelduck and tufted duck were easily seen and excellent views of marsh harrier were achieved from the hide screens.
Later we moved onto RSPB Lodmoor where we added some waders to the list - dunlin, oystercatcher and common sandpiper. In addition, we picked up a lesser whitethroat on call before it showed itself for everybody to see. We completed the day with a trip down to Portland Bill to sea watch, observing Manx shearwater, a dark phase pomerine skua with common guillemot and razorbills flying across the waves. After a pleasant evening meal most retired in preparation for another early start.
The pre-breakfast walk took us back to the Bill. The early risers were not disappointed. Fulmer was added to the sea watching list but extensive searching of the MOD area revealed both Greenland and Northern wheatear, spotted flycatcher and in the rocky area outside a pair of black redstarts - what a great start to the day! Also, skylarks were singing with a stonechat and willow warbler perching on the bushes in the bright sunlight.
Following a hearty breakfast we set off for a day at the 563 hectare RSPB reserve at Arne. A walk around Coombe Heath was our first port of call and the area was buzzing with Dartford warblers both calling and sitting out in the bright sunshine for everybody to get excellent views. One group saw at least five different birds, it is great to see this warbler doing so well. Next our attention was taken by a singing and displaying tree pipit at the top of a Scot's pine. As we walked around we looked out across the mudflats to see little egret, grey heron, curlew and a solitary spoonbill.
After lunch we walked around the red trail in woodland picking up siskin, wren, robin, great and blue tit together with jackdaws and rooks on the grasslands we passed. After hearing green woodpecker calling all day we finally saw one as we returned to the car park.
Our final stop was at Ferrybridge, the causeway to Portland where we compared common, sandwich and little terns as they perched on the buoys in the Fleet.
In total we saw 91 species plus one sub-species (Greenland wheatear) during the weekend. Our thanks go to Graham Palmer for organising the hotel.

List of birds seen
Species Name - Scientific Name
Greylag Goose - Anser anser
Canada Goose - Branta canadensis
Mute Swan - Cygnus olor
Common Shelduck - Tadorna tadorna
Gadwall - Mareca strepera
Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Common Pochard - Aythya ferina
Tufted Duck - Aythya fuligula
Common Pheasant - Phasianus colchicus
Great Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatus
Common Wood Pigeon - Columba palumbus
Common Cuckoo - Cuculus canorus (heard)
Common Swift - Apus apus
Common Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
Common Coot - Fulica atra
Eurasian Oystercatcher - Haematopus ostralegus
Northern Lapwing - Vanellus vanellus
Ringed plover - Charadrius hiaticula
Whimbrel - Numenius phaeopus
Eurasian Curlew - Numenius arquata
Dunlin - Calidris alpina
Common Sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucos
Common Redshank - Tringa totanus
Pomarine Skua - Stercorarius pomarinus
Common Guillemot - Uria aalge
Razorbill - Alca torda
Black-headed Gull - Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Herring Gull - Larus argentatus
Great Black-backed Gull - Larus marinus
Little Tern - Sternula albifrons
Common Tern - Sterna hirundo
Sandwich Tern - Thalasseus sandvicensis
Northern Fulmar - Fulmarus glacialis
Manx Shearwater - Puffinus puffinus
Northern Gannet - Morus bassanus
Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo
European Shag - Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Great Bittern - Botaurus stellaris
Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea
Great Egret - Ardea alba
Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
Eurasian Spoonbill - Platalea leucorodia
Eurasian Marsh Harrier - Circus aeruginosus
Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
Great Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos major
Eurasian Green Woodpecker - Picus viridis
Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
Eurasian Hobby - Falco subbuteo
Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
Eurasian Jackdaw - Corvus monedula
Rook - Corvus frugilegus
Carrion Crow - Corvus corone
Common Raven - Corvus corax
Bearded Tit - Panurus biarmicus
Sky Lark - Alauda arvensis
Sand Martin - Riparia riparia
Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
Common House Martin - Delichon urbicum
Eurasian Blue Tit - Cyanistes caeruleus
Great Tit - Parus major
Long-tailed Tit - Aegithalos caudatus
Eurasian Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes
Cetti's Warbler - Cettia cetti
Willow Warbler - Phylloscopus trochilus
Common Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita
Sedge Warbler - Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Eurasian Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Eurasian Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla
Garden Warbler - Sylvia borin
Lesser Whitethroat - Sylvia curruca
Common Whitethroat - Sylvia communis
Dartford warbler - Sylvia undata
Spotted Flycatcher - Muscicapa striata
European Robin - Erithacus rubecula
Nuthatch - Sitta europaea
Black redstart - Phoenicurus ochruros
European Stonechat - Saxicola rubicola
Northern Wheatear (Greenland) - Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa
Northern Wheatear (Eurasian) - Oenanthe oenanthe oenanthe
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula
Common Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
Dunnock - Prunella modularis
Pied Wagtail - Motacilla alba yarrellii
Meadow Pipit - Anthus pratensis
Tree Pipit - Anthus trivialis
Rock Pipit - Anthus petrosus
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
Common Linnet - Linaria cannabina
European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
Eurasian Siskin - Spinus spinus
Reed Bunting - Emberiza schoeniclus
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus

Ian and Lydia Taylor