Sunday, 21 April 2013


Migrant warblers hit Swineham yesterday like one of those planes hitting the ocean that you see on Youtube. Or perhaps they had been landing more gracefully and I just haven't been there to notice. Either way, 15 singing Sedgies was quite impressive. They won't all stay, but it was a great way to see my first of the year. Chiffcaffs weren't far behind, then Reed Warblers back on territory; Blackcaps and Willow Warblers joined the chorus but in smaller numbers.

Sedge Warbler at Swineham - my first of the year
Reed Warbler at Swineham - another year tick
A promising sunrise gave way to cloud for the next couple of hours, but I wasn't complaining. It was still and mild, and we haven't had a lot of that lately.
Dawn breaks over Bestwall

One of a couple of dozen Med Gulls heading south over Holton Lee on Saturday
The afternoon was earmarked for family time, and a trip to nearby Holton Lee. As well as the boring stuff there is a bird hide there with well stocked feeders which is popular with photographers. I'd never been, but Claire was happy to drop me off in this Dad-crèche while she and the kids checked out labyrinths, plant sales and the endlessly fascinating home made jam stall.

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker at Holton Lee

Nuthatch at Holton Lee
The hide was pretty good, despite the presence of large numbers of civilians, with a selection of garden birds coming to the feeders plus a few of the bigger beasts which tend to hang out at these wildlife diners. A Kingfisher on the pond was a bonus for me and many punters who had never seen one before.

The feeding station at Holton Lee attracts a Pheasant...

...and other visitors like this Brown Rat.
A quick look at the heath was quiet at first but then an Osprey soared over some trees nearby. I say nearby, but as the autofocus struggled and I switched to manual I realised that it was quite distant, just a very big bird!

Kingfisher at Holton Lee
Just as good at fishing, but bigger: Osprey over Holton Lee
Which reminds me, another one was fishing in the mouth of the River Piddle at Swineham last weekend, and I didn't even blog about it. That's the trouble with Dorset birding sometimes: just too good to write it all down.

Another Osprey over Swineham last weekend
 Just after this the Osprey plunged into the mouth of the River Piddle and headed off with a decent-sized fish

No comments:

Post a Comment