Trip reports

Studland

Nuthatch on branch
RSPB Image

Thursday, 5 December 2019

On a cold but clear and still day a good turnout of twenty people had a very worthwhile visit to a number of sites on the Studland peninsula resulting in about 54 species being seen between us.

We started at the Middle Beach and, scanning across the calm waters of Studland Bay, soon spotted four Black-necked Grebe, about eight Common Scoter, some Great Crested Grebe and a large flock of Brent Geese. Some of the birds were quite a distance away but using our telescopes we were all able to see them. Amongst the various gulls there was a Mediterranean Gull on the rocks below and a few Redwing were sitting on the tree tops around the car park. We then made our way towards Fort Henry and South Beach car park and soon found our target birds, five Ring-necked Parakeets in a tree near the Bankes Arms.

Our next stop was at Knowle Beach where, after making use of the facilities, we walked along the nature trail towards Little Sea. In the woods after initially seeing little in the way of birdlife, as often happens, all of a sudden they started to appear. In the same area we first saw a Treecreeper followed by a Goldcrest, some Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits, a Nuthatch and a lovely male Bullfinch. Later a Sparrowhawk flew over before we reached the hide overlooking Little Sea. On the water most birds were congregated on the far side including Great Black-backed and Common Gull, Little and Great Crested Grebe, Teal, Mallard and a small flock of Redwing were flying above the distant trees.

Lunch was taken back at the NT Visitors' Centre and café where a Coal Tit was amongst the birds on the nearby feeders and five Black-necked Grebe were off shore. We then moved to Brand's Bay where, from the hide, we recorded a good selection of birds including Dunlin, Grey Plover, Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Wigeon, Pintail, Shelduck and more Brent Geese. A large flock of Lapwing flew over in the distance and there were some Fieldfare and Redwing over the heathland behind the hide. By now the wind was strengthening and some people decided to call it a day while the remaining ten hardy souls drove to a final site, Bramble Bush Bay near the ferry. Here we added Red-breasted Merganser and Shag but couldn't find any Slavonian Grebe which had been reported off Jerry's Point earlier. Nevertheless it turned out to be a very satisfactory visit to an area the group hadn't been to for a few years, but one we should return to in the not too distant future.

Malcolm