Sunday 12 February 2012

More spoons

14 Spoonbill present in Holes Bay today
We were passing Holes Bay on the way back from the cinema this morning so it would have been rude not to have another look for the Spoonbill which have been frequenting this area, especially as high tide might have pushed them to the perimeter. A flock of 12 was present, growing to 14 as I watched, including a colour-ringed bird, probably from the Dutch breeding population. They were much closer than when I saw them last weekend - within a hundred yards or so of the path and the four-lane dual carriageway which skirts the Bay. An hour later only one was left, the rest having moved off on the rapidly receding tide.
The bird on the right risks being kicked out of Spoonbill club for actually being awake
Little Egret and Spotted Redshank were also present, and as well as the colour-ringed Spoonbill there was was a colour-ringed Avocet - having e-mailed details to the Dutchman and Frenchman who I think ringed these birds, I await with interest information on their provenance.
Adult Spoonbills show more yellow on the spoon than juveniles
I'd just settled down for the second half of Wales v Scotland when news of a Glossy Ibis on Wareham Common, within walking distance of home, meant that Wareham's small army of birders had to be scrambled, and I headed back outside. There was no sign of the bird on the common, but as it had been reported heading south I did the same, checking the flood meadows below the town, the Bestwall RSPB reserve and Swineham Gravel Pits. On arriving the latter I met Steve Smith - a good person to stand next to if you are looking for a rare bird in Dorset - but as the light faded, so did hope of seeing the Ibis.
Little Egret
I was unable to pick up the Smew which Steve had seen a few minutes earlier, but a Bittern was a welcome addition to my 'walked from home' list. Then Steve picked up the Ibis in flight, skimming the treetops beyond the gravel pits. By the time I got onto it, it was heading away from us into the gloom, but I was still able to note the distinctive flight action with a characteristic short glide thrown in.
Spotted Redshank

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