Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Day trip to Swanage, Dorset

A family day out offered an opportunity for a spot of birding and a chance to catch up on a few species missing from my year list. The morning began well while during our breakfast stop at Winchester services I noted a single White Wagtail and Coal Tit from the comforts of our car. An hour or so later we arrived on the outskirts of Poole Harbour and as the tide was still low we stopped to have a quick pan with the bins over the salt marsh. Species of note included Common Curlew, Common Redshank, Ruddy Turnstone and a large gathering of some 50 or so Sanderling feeding along the shoreline.

Arriving at the Sandbanks chain ferry late morning and during the five minute crossing we notched up a Sandwich Tern and a pair of Pale-bellied Brent Goose. Twenty minutes later we arrived at Swanage and headed off to Durlston Country Park to partake in the annual Easter egg hunt and of course a spot of birding. Species of interest included Northern Fulmar (1), European Shag (4), Peregrine Falcon (3 above Durlston Castle), Common Kestrel, Rock Pipit,  Northern Wheatear (1 male at Anvil Point Lighthouse), Common Stonechat (male), Black Redstart (female) both noted below Anvil Point Lighthouse, Meadow Pipit (3), Blackcap (1) and a single Common Raven drifting around for several minutes along the cliffs and above Durlston Castle. After spending a pleasant day in the sunshine and sea air it was time to return home and while waiting for the chain ferry at Sandbanks we noted  a grand total of 17 Red-breasted Merganser all making their way out to sea from Poole Harbour in a ten minute period as the sun began to set. Finally a stop off at Poole Harbour produced our last chance to view the feeding waders in the fading light notably a gathering of some 50+ Godwits annoyingly unidentifiable due to poor light.  

A full list of species noted as follows:-
Northern Fulmar, European Shag, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Brent Goose, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Common Pheasant, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Common Curlew, Common Redshank, Ruddy Turnstone, Sandwich Tern, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Feral Rock Dove, Woodpigeon, Northern Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, White Wagtail, Common Stonechat, Black Redstart, Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Blackbird, Blackcap, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Common Raven, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Linnet.      

                                                               White Wagtail.
                                                                     Brent Goose.

                                                                   Black-headed Gull.

                                                                     Herring Gull.

                                          Common Raven.

                                                                     Rock Pipit.


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