Radipole and Lodmoor – 13th February

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I was working in Sidford, Devon again today and having finished at around 11:00 I decided to divert my route home and head for the Weymouth area for a couple of light weight rarities.

First up, at Radipole RSPB was a first-winter drake which had been present on the reserve since 4th November. Walking along Radipole Park Drive, the bird had often been in the channel and close to the fishing platforms but when I picked up the bird it was clear that it was closer to the picnic shelter on the reserve so I fast-walked around to this point and eventually got fairly good views as the bird loafed with .

Ring-necked Duck really are stunning birds with their grey flanks and white fore-blaze, three-tone banded bill and their high peaked heads with a soft purple sheen.

In the carpark there were around 50 , I never tire of Med Gull and so I spent a little time watching them, many of which were nearly in full summer plumage.

Ring-necked Duck – Radipole Lake RSPB

Ring-necked Duck – Radipole Lake RSPB

Mediterranean Gull – Radipole Lake RSPB

Mediterranean Gull – Radipole Lake RSPB

I then headed to Lodmoor RSPB where a had been present since 18th October, it was a beautiful warm and sunny day and it was a pleasure to be out and about. There were around 175 Mediterranean Gull, their ‘keeeow’ calls filling the still spring like air. A large flock of was regularly disturbed by a hunting male and there were small numbers of just about beginning their transition to summer plumage. Then, I picked up a very white headed male Ruff and with it the . I watched these two birds, which seemed to have formed a close foraging allegiance, the birds gradually coming closer and closer to the western path and eventually giving good views as they picked in the shallows with the

. After a short while it was time to head off and continue my journey back to Hampshire.

– Lodmoor RSPB

Mediterranean Gull – Lodmoor RSPB

– Lodmoor RSPB

Eurasian Teal – Lodmoor RSPB

Eurasian Teal – Lodmoor RSPB

Ruff and Lesser Yellowlegs – Lodmoor RSPB

Ruff – Lodmoor RSPB

Ruff and Eurasian Teal – Lodmoor RSPB

Lesser Yellowlegs – Lodmoor RSPB

Lesser Yellowlegs – Lodmoor RSPB

Lesser Yellowlegs – Lodmoor RSPB

 

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Simon Colenutt

Simon Colenutt

I began birdwatching at the age of nine when living on the Isle of Wight. After obtaining a copy of the Isle of Wight Bird Report from 1976 I realised that Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Black Tern were regularly seen at St.Catherine's Point, only five miles from my home village of Chale Green. To a nine year old these birds were near mythical and so I just had to go and try to see them. Little did I know that these birds were seasonal and after a long winter of seeing nothing I eventually started to bump into other birdwatchers as March drew to a close. It was then that Dave Hunnybun, Dave Wooldridge, Paul Castle, Peter Gandy and Audrey Wilkinson introduced me to the art of seawatching and the joys of bird migration, I have not looked back since.

Simon Colenutt

Simon Colenutt

I began birdwatching at the age of nine when living on the Isle of Wight. After obtaining a copy of the Isle of Wight Bird Report from 1976 I realised that Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Black Tern were regularly seen at St.Catherine's Point, only five miles from my home village of Chale Green. To a nine year old these birds were near mythical and so I just had to go and try to see them. Little did I know that these birds were seasonal and after a long winter of seeing nothing I eventually started to bump into other birdwatchers as March drew to a close. It was then that Dave Hunnybun, Dave Wooldridge, Paul Castle, Peter Gandy and Audrey Wilkinson introduced me to the art of seawatching and the joys of bird migration, I have not looked back since.

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