8 Nov 2023

8 Nov 23 - Snow Bunting In The Buff

In the last Blog Post, one of my plans for the Spotted Sandpiper day was to walk the beach at Shell Bay, Studland up to Pilot's Point in the hope of finding a Snow Bunting. What I wouldn't have done is to carry on further along the beach towards the nudist part of the beach, which is where local Purbeck Birder, James Leaver, was walking his dogs three days later when he found a Snow Bunting. It didn't stop raining till after lunch, but it had finally dried up by mid-afternoon when I went looking for it. I didn't see it as I walked from the beach end of the Nudist Beach track to Shell Bay, but I did find it on the return trip. It was about one or two hundred metres North of the end of the beach end of the Nudist Beach track, but feeding right up in the edge of the dunes. I guess I just overlooked it on the first sweep of the beach.

Fortunately, it was a nice cold day and too cold for any nudists. It's an area which is understandably under-watched, given the presence of some very unattractive individuals both there and the nearby dunes. As a warning, sadly the area also attracts the occasional individual who would be particularly unpleasant to encounter as a couple of my friends have mentioned over the years. As a result, I only ever visit on cold winter days when I think the area is likely to OK to visit.
Snow Bunting: As I walked back South, I bumped into it by walking on a path one or two metres inside the dune. It was around five metres away from me and it froze, just like I did, before it slowly started moving away
There have been a few recent Snow Bunting records with two individuals on Redhorn Quay in Nov 21 and another individual at Shell Bay in Nov 22. A full list of previous Studland records are listed here. This individual stayed from 8 Nov to 11 Nov. Another Snow Bunting flew South over the Glebelands area of Ballard Down on 21 Nov 23.
Snow Bunting: I stayed for around five minutes before leaving it in peace