March Update, Another First

Here’s what’s been happening at Longham recently:

13th March: A fall of Chiffchaffs, variously reported as a dozen (Chris Parnell) and 5 (Alan Pearce) on the corner of Samuel’s Wood. Undoubtedly migrants.

Sand Martin (Alan Pearce)

Sand Martin, Longham Lakes, Dorset, 12/3/13 (Alan Pearce)

12th March: Redhead Smew, diving frequently in the more sheltered water downwind from the large island, Longham Reservoir South. Also, male Goldeneye. 5x Sand Martin, hunting over the grass. Sparrowhawk (f), on the ground taking the sun in the sheltered reeds over the NW bank in the Hampreston fields.

11th March: 1 Sand Martin, 1 Snipe, pair of Pintail, at least 10 Meadow Pipits, as well as female Smew, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 1 Shoveler; 48 Mute Swans on Hampreston Fields (Dominic Couzens).

10th March: 15 Sand Martins around the island on LR South (Gary White). It was WeBS count day, when Robin Trundle and Trevor Thorpe noted : Greylag Goose – 4 on Hampreston Fields, Black Swan -1, Black-tailed Godwit – Flocks of 17, 70 , 60 , 13 , 25 , 40 all heading eastwards and 38 on the island [263 altogether, a new record], Snipe – 1, Sand Martin – 7, Smew – 1 female on LR South, Curlew – 1 on large island which then flew upriver, Redshank – 1 on large island, Cetti’s Warbler – 2 heard only.

9th March:  “Spent a couple of hours at Longham Lakes this morning, plus walked the
footpath across to Hampreston to check the swans, many of which were hidden behind hedges. There was no sign of the Bewick’s Swans and a single Smew was still present (mostly skulking around the partially submerged bushes at the south end of South Lake).
The highlight (in Longham terms) was a Curlew, which circled over the pits before heading west over Hampreston. I think that’s only the 5th record there(?), 2 of which are
mine! Apart from that I had a good count of Mediterranean Gulls (minimum of 25
birds, inc 21 at one point sitting on the water). Also 3 Greylag Geese, a single female
Goldeneye, 2 singing Chiffchaffs and 1 singing Cetti’s Warbler.” (Kevin Lane). Also
pair of Shelduck on floods. (Chris Parnell).

Bewick's Swan (Lorne Bissell)

Bewick's Swan, Longham Lakes, Dorset, 6/3/13 (Lorne Bissell)

6th March: “I arrived just after 09:00hrs this morning and I counted 11 Mediterranean Gulls. Then through the morning 9-12 Reed Buntings, 2 Bewick’s Swans, 2 Goosander (m&f) ,3 Goldeneye(f),1 Smew (f), 1 Chiffchaff singing. (Lorne Bissell).

5th March: 2 Bewick’s Swans, 1 Shelduck and 6 x singing Reed Buntings (Alan Pearce). Still one redhead Smew, 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 6 Goldeneye inc one drake, 2 Chiffchaffs and Cetti’s Warbler singing. Also 300+ Black-headed Gulls (Chris Parnell).

4th March: A visit early afternoon: 4 Goldeneye (3F,1M), 1 Mediterranean Gull, 70
Lapwing (Lorne Bissell).

3rd March: A first for Longham Lakes this morning. Chris Parnell found this Avocet swimming on Longham Reservoir North. Also redhead Smew and male Goldeneye. Alan Pearce: “Not my lucky day, I was there around 1100. Missed the Avocet, but also picked up the Smew and Goldeneye (m) again + females. Also, 2 pr Shoveler briefly and Bewick’s Swans visible again in Hampreston fields.

2nd March:  Gulls coming in to roost included 1 sum plum Mediterranean Gull (could
well have been more). Also, drake Goldeneye with 5x females, lucky boy (Alan Pearce).

1st March: 1x Smew, 2x Bewick’s Swans with Mutes and 6x Greylag Geese on Hampreston fields (Alan Pearce).

24th February: 2x Bewick’s Swans on fields with c25 Mutes and Canada Geese. Disturbed and majority incl. Bewick’s (briefly) settled on the south lake. 6x Goosander (5m), 1x redhead Smew, 1x Shoveler (M), 2x Goldeneye (Alan Pearce).

23rd February: a.m. Bewick’s Swan – 2 showing well on Hampreston Fields, Smew – redhead on south lake but proving surprisingly elusive, Goldeneye – 4 redheads, Goosander – male flew from south lake to river (reported by another observer) (George Green). Also1 Water Rail ( heard only ), 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 41 & 111 Carrion Crow ( in separate fields), 3 Reed Bunting ( singing males) (Trevor Thorpe).

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