Trip reports

RSPB Radipole and RSPB Lodmoor

Water rail feeding at waters edge
Water Rail (RSPB Image)

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Despite a forecast of high winds a group of 10 members gathered at the RSPB Visitor Centre at Radipole. We began by scanning the large number of gulls on the water - and also those in the car park. In addition to the usual Black-headed, Herring and Greater Black-backed Gulls there were many Common Gulls and a large number of Mediterranean Gulls. For those who wished to do so, it was a good opportunity to practise identifying the various plumage phases of the immature gulls! There were also at least 20 Grey Heron to be seen. On our subsequent walk round the reserve the conditions meant that there were few small birds visible - two Stonechat being the most interesting we found. And, also predictably, Cetti's Warbler was heard but not seen. Nevertheless, there were the usual waterfowl - including Shoveler, Gadwall and the resident Hooded Merganser. Our walk to the northern end of the reserve, inspecting the new viewing screen as we went, was rewarded by good views of two Marsh Harriers and a Kestrel.

After lunch we travelled to RSPB Lodmoor. At first, we scanned the areas of water visible from Southdown Avenue and, in addition to Pochard and Tufted Duck, we had good views of several female Scaup. On our walk round the reserve we heard several and saw one Water Rail and had good views of Little Grebe, Snipe, Dunlin, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, a Redshank and a Ruff. Thanks to Malcolm's long-distance spotting from the shelter, we also managed to find the Lesser Yellowlegs, a vagrant from North America which had been at the reserve for a while. Altogether, we had seen around 43 species - maybe not bad given the conditions. Many thanks to Mary for leading the field trip!

Rob Wilkinson