Thursday, 19 February 2015

Catching up

I'm a bit behind with posts so here's some old news from last weekend. I hit the heaths in the hope of adding to the photo year list with my main target being Great Grey Shrike. There were two in Dorset to choose from - one at Morden Bog and one at Godlingstone Heath, but I fancied Studland so headed there first. Steve Smith gave me directions which were spot on, and after a bit of a yomp out to the heathland edge I managed a reasonably close approach before a yappy dog put the bird to flight. Jol and I then watched our sons almost certainly blow their chance of the Dorset Youth Football Under-12s League Division 3 championship in a top of the table fixture against Ringwood, so we went and had another look late afternoon to dull the pain. Returning to the same spot the Shrike was distant but fortunately flew in to not far from where we were standing. A harsh sidelight made photography difficult for Joe and I but it was a great view nonetheless.
Great Grey Shrike (#90)
The light improved later in the day on a return visit
Fieldfare (#91)
After that it was time to scrape the barrel, photo wise, with some distant but tickable Fieldfares, some even more distant but still tickable Slavonian Grebes, a badly photographed but tickable Ring-necked Parakeet at Studland, and a trio of untickable Great Bustards from the Salisbury Plain reintroduction scheme which have been knocking around the Dorset coast for several weeks now.
Ring-necked Parakeet - gaudy but tickable (#92)
Slavonian Grebe in the gloom off South Beach, Studland (#93)
Great Bustards
Great Bustard - the first of the released birds I have seen in Dorset or anywhere else for that matter

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