Lesser Yellowlegs & a Ruff
Having suggested to fellow blipper Diane2104 that a she might like a visit to Radipole & Lodmoor Nature Reserves whilst on holiday in the area I saw the weather this morning and quite fancied it myself. With a good drive down I arrived just after 10am to see a large group entering the reserve and managed to catch up with them to find out it was a guided beginners birding walk... just what I needed. With dunnocks a plenty and a reed bunting within minutes it started off very well. At the bridge we were reliably informed that a penduline tit had been seen about half an hour ago (as a rare migrant seen on the Lodmoor reserve it's even rarer being seen at Radipole). With disappointment came excitement when another birder informed our guide that he'd just seen bearded tits in the reed beds a little further on. With that we headed straight there to find the eleven showing nicely on the edge of the reed bed. I got a couple of shots as record shots to show their presence but they were so far away they were best viewed with binoculars! After that excitement we saw shelducks, pochards and teal before moving on to the pavilion where two male Marsh Harriers were spotted circling on the thermals. The guide explained all about their reintroduction since numbers reduced in the UK to one breeding pair during the war. On the walk back to the entrance there was more of the same plus an obliging chiff chaff and a pair of blackbirds and also a first sighting of a peacock butterfly and I think a small tortoiseshell.
After a cuppa at the visitors centre I moved on to Lodmoor. The picture I've posted was one of the first ones I took there and from talking to another birder/photographer I found out it was a lesser yellowleg and a ruff both rare visitors to Lodmoor. With time running short I just had time to walk the first part of the reserve and then on my walk back came across the photographer I had been speaking to earlier sat with a blipper I thought I recognised - It was Diane. Denis a regular to Lodmoor pointed out some Mediterranean Gulls to us (once you're in the know you can see that not every gull is the same!!) and the resident female Marsh Harrier. Unfortunately she won't mate with the two on Radipole as she's in the company of two males at Lodmoor.
Although we didn't have much time it was lovely to have a short blipmeet with Diane and it transpired that I had been a few steps behind her all day as you will see in her blip she was one of the lucky ones to see the penduline tit at Radipole