27 Sept 2014

26 Sep 14 - The Birding Gods Are Listening

Back to Middlebere, but I still managed to miss the rising tide. But the weather was mild & the light OK, so I decided to see if any Raptors came along. I wasn't disappointed with 6 species of Raptors (in order of appearance): Kestrel, a first Winter Ringtail Hen Harrier, sub adult male Marsh Harrier, Merlin, Peregrine & finally a Buzzard. Must be my best Raptor day in terms of numbers of species. The 2 Harriers & the Merlin are freshly into the area. Unfortunately, the Harriers kept their distance & the Merlin did a quick fly past (but long enough to enjoy it with the bins).

In a recent post, I photographed a 1st Winter Green Sandpiper on the pool in front of the hide. I ended up saying I wished I had some photos of an Adult for comparison at this time of year. The first bird of note seen was an Adult Green Sandpiper on the same pool. I'm sure this is just luck, but in case the Birding Gods are following the blog, I would like to be able to show you photographs of a Siberian Rubythroat on Old Harry in the next few days!
Green Sandpiper: Adult. Note the streaky breast. This is more uniform on 1st Winter birds
Green Sandpiper: Adult. Note the fine spotting on the wings, especially the tertials. The tertials have broader spots on 1st Winter birds
Even better a Green Sandpiper dropped into the pool later in the morning & it was a 1st Winter bird. This was very photogenic & allowed me some better photos.
Green Sandpiper: 1st Winter: This bird has far more uniform breast without the obvious streaking on the adult. Also the spotting on the tertials is larger & more distinctive
Green Sandpiper: 1st Winter. The centre of the breast was more streaky, but still not as streaky as the Adult
Green Sandpiper: 1st Winter. A nice view of the rump & tail. Pity there wasn't a central dark band to the rump & tail. That would have a sparked a major Dorset twitch, given Solitary Sandpiper has not been seen in the county before
Green Sandpiper: 1st Winter. Just posing for the camera now
Black-headed Gull: This Black-headed Gull also wanted its photo taken on the pole
As I was planning on leaving the Great White Egret from Studland flew in & dropped into the back of the marsh: but not before I got the chance to get the scope onto it. I saw it a couple of times over the next hour while I hung around, hoping it would appear on the creek as the water started to drop. But both views were less than a minute as it flew, before landing out of sight again. This is the first time, the GWE has been seen from the main hide (as it was first seen from the Harrier hide on the 7 Sep).