Round South Lake this afternoon, the highlights were Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Raven over. 54 Pochard still about with 24 Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Tufted Ducks. Still a few Redwings about and Grey Wagtails, and a Water Rail was feeding along the southern edge of North Lake. Also some Frog spawn, at the southern end of South Lake, in the large puddle in the dip by the small island (Martin Wood.)
31 species in wind and rain this afternoon. Water Rail in north-east corner of South Lake, 44 Pochard counted, 14 Little Grebes. Still a few Wigeon and Shoveler about along with Gadwall, Tufted Ducks. Good to see Bullfinch and Redwing and hear Great Tit singing (Martin Wood.)
Nice little surprise today with a male Blackcap near the bungalows. Its the first time I have had one during the winter on patch (Matthew Bell.)
Best birds for me this morning were Great White Egret, Water Rail and Peregrine (Robin Trundle.) Additionally, Greylag Goose – 105 on the meadows; Water Rail – 2 by the jetty on south lake and 1 on the main island, with a few others heard; Mediterranean Gull – 5; Kingfisher – 1 flying over the meadows; Hawfinch – again in hedge along the east side of south lake (Kevin Lane.) Lots of Great Tits singing, plus Long-tailed Tit and Goldcrest, a Reed Bunting and 5 Greenfinches (Martin Wood.)
Spent the morning (06.45-12.00) and also the last hour of daylight at Longham today, with a total of 70 species. [that equals the day-listing record]. Mainly common/expected stuff, but a few notable bits: Great Egret – 1 early morning on north lake and the second briefly over south lake. 1 flew back in to south lake at dusk; Greylag Goose – 80+ left south lake at dawn and returned after dark; Peregrine – 1 over south lake with prey; Water Rail – 5+ mainly heard. 1 feeding along the causeway; Black-tailed Godwit – c80 circled but didn’t land; Chiffchaff – 1 giving the downslurred juv-type call at the thicket by north lake; Magpie – roost of 70+ south of south lake; Raven – 1 on the pylons in the morning; Starling – small murmuration/roost (c1,000 birds) in the scrub behind the larger of the 2 ponds at the south end (Kevin Lane.)
Meanwhile, Steve Smith had a Lesser Redpoll in the se corner of South Lake, with Goldfinches. He also counted 77 Pochard and 18 Little Grebe. Martin Wood added Stock Dove, Jay and Rook to his yearlist.
A Hawfinch was seen in the morning perched in Oak tree on east side of South Lake, Longham. 2 Great Egrets the best of the rest (Kevin Lane.)
The Hawfinch was seen again today still in the general area of the Sheep Field. Also great views of Siberian Chiffchaff which was calling nicely near The Thicket (Matthew Bell.)
There were 2 Great Egrets , 3 Chiffchaffs and a Water Rail was heard (Dave and Pat Harris and OWLs).
Lovely morning but seemed a little less birdy than yesterday. Sadly no sign of yesterday’s Hawfinch. The 2 Great White Egrets were present mid morning but then both flew off SW towards Poole. Best of the rest – 2 Chiffchaffs and Raven heard (George Green.)
Absolutely delighted to find a Hawfinch on patch today. The bird was frequenting the trees surrounding the Sheep field in the east of the patch. Also two Great White Egrets (Matthew Bell). Also 17+ Black-tailed Godwits, a Peregrine, a large flock of Fieldfare and Redwing and a pair of Ravens (George Green.)
Time limited visit to site this morning between 0930 and 1030, viewed from concrete slipway only, yielded 23 species the highlights of which were a Black-tailed Godwit on the island shore, Water Rail and Grey Wagtail both close to slipway and a Common Gull. Large numbers of Lapwing, Shoveler and Gadwall amongst other regulars (Ron Poulter.)
Now 2 Great Egrets on island and a pair of Cetti’s Warblers also seen, large numbers of Shoveler and Pochard. Group of 40+ Cormorant arrived together (David Foster.) Mandarin – drake on/around the same island; Black-tailed Godwit – 17 flew north without stopping; Greylag Goose – 82 on Hampreston Meadows [a record] (Kevin Lane.)
Great White Egret – still present; Pintail – 3 circled over south lake but didn’t settle; Chiffchaff – 1 at the far end of the causeway; Firecrest – 1 near the Scarlet Darter pond (south of South Lake); Lesser Redpoll – 1 feeding on the small island at the south end of south lake; Siskin – 2 or 3 in the woods (Kevin Lane.) In the afternoon, highlights were c30 Black-tailed Godwits circling the lake and Hampreston Fields, a Fieldfare with 3 Song Thrush in the sheep field and 2 Water Rail again by the slipway jetty in the north east corner. Male Kestrel working the south-east corner (Martin Wood.)
Much quieter than recently with much smaller numbers of wildfowl. Apart from the Great White Egret the only sighting of note was a pair of Pintail (George Green.) Martin Wood saw a Bullfinch, 350 days earlier in the year than 2017.
The Great Egret is still present (Ian Ballam).
The Great Egret was on the main island on South Lake, and there were also 3 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons. Among other waterbirds were 4 Moorhens, 5 Little Grebes and 2 Great Black-backed Gulls. 7 Greylag Geese were on Hampreston Fields (Trevor Wilkinson.)
The year began in true style with a major Longham rarity, a Hawfinch in the hedge by the Study Centre car park. This is the first one that has not been seen simply flying over, and a nice surprise for arch Longham lister, Martin Wood. The Great Egret was still around, and he also saw 5 Redwings and 2 Water Rails, the latter by the slipway jetty (north bank of South Lake). I started the New Year’s birding off at Emily’s Wood and was rewarded by a delightful flock of 50 Siskins preening in the rain, as well as a Nuthatch. Among 50 species seen were a female Pintail and a Great Black-backed Gull (Dominic Couzens.) Terry Elborn’s 90 minute birding sweep added a Sparrowhawk to the Patch’s year-list.