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Monday, 24 July 2017

A bit of local birding

A nice afternoon out that provided more evidence of migration underway. My old mate Dave Glover came over to fulfil a plan we made to connect him with the local Ring Necked Parakeets for the year.

A journey down to Rushall and as soon as we arrived by the waters of Park Lime Pits we could hear a bird calling frequently. Ten minutes standing under the dead tree it was in and still no sighting of it, so a brisk walk to the opposite side of the lake finally provided excellent naked-eye views of the bird before it took flight. Also present at Park Lime Pits were a good number of Swallows and at least two Kingfishers.

We were then heading straight for Chasewater but as some of you know I am a long term sufferer of the medical condition 'Alcoholic Constipation' (I can't pass pubs) so Dave and I celebrated our success with a quick half pint in the Manor Arms before leaving (If you are interested, Ringwood Circadian 4.5). It had been at least twenty years since I last set foot in the Manor Arms and I was really pleased to see that little had changed (apart from a more extensive range of ales which you will never find me arguing about).


We finally arrived at Chasewater to find it remarkably quiet. We had hoped for a Swift or two, or a few Sand Martins flying around but for the bulk of our time there we saw just one House Martin, although toward evening we connected with three Swallows. This matches the situation elsewhere as far as I can see. Last week we had the Swifts screaming over the village every evening and then... they were gone!

A quick scan of the pool provided nothing of any significance so a change of tack was required. This involved not looking for birds but instead looking for birders. A quick scan of the shore around Target Point provided us with views of the greater-spotted Phil Ward perched over his camera (a resident species at Chasewater), so there was obviously something about to liven up the visit.

Photo Copyright All About Birds
A short phone call later and we were obtaining views of Phil's finds, a strikingly bright summer plumage Sanderling and a contrastingly dowdy looking Dunlin. Still, two proper Waders and enough to make the visit worthwhile. We sauntered along the west shore and eventually obtained even better views, this time supplemented by a couple of Oystercatchers  and two pairs of Stock Dove (which used to be a challenging tick at Chasewater)!

Anyway, big thank you to Dave, always great fun when he comes to visit and always an interesting challenge to try and stretch his year list for him.

Next visit should be the Marsh and Mere although a Sanderling there really would be a tick to shout about! - Chaz