Wednesday, February 27, 2013

All roads lead to Poole!

Birds from nearly all points of the compass descend on a square mile of Poole.

The southern representative came in the rather distinctive shape of a Hoopoe. Originally rubbished by some as a Fieldfare despite three independent reports of an orange bird with a crest! The bird finally gave itself up to a birder of sorts on a grassy verge outside a factory in the middle of Hamworthy.
Problem was it was doing what Hoopoes do best, being very mobile, and despite many people putting in many hours, initially only a few managed to connect.
The other problem was it was being rather mobile in some of the less desirable areas of Poole. Keeping on the move was the order of the day, not just to give yourself more chance of finding the bird but also to avoid having your wheels nicked.
Eventually everybody who had the time or wanted to see the bird badly enough did manage to track it down. Unfortunately I was not in that category (the time bit)

Meanwhile in a garden just up the road, reports were coming through of a possible Common Rosefinch visiting a garden feeder. Eventually the id was confirmed but the bird proved as difficult to see as the Hoopoe, mainly because the garden owner didnt want the location divulged. However it wasnt exactly plain sailing for a few friends that were invited in. And when I say in, I mean on a rickety bench overlooking the garden. Visits by the bird were very occasional and always brief.

Standing room only (on a '"at your own risk" bench)

View from said bench showing position of Rosefinch's favorite feeder

After nearly a couple of hours wait it finally turned up. I managed to get some shots through the foliage by using manual focus

Briefly visited a tree before departing

The next day I was out surveying at Holes Bay when I bumped into this.

Always a bird on the radar when visiting Holes Bay in the winter but this time searching through the flocks of Teal  (during quiet periods of survey work!) did yield the desired result. Also causing a mini twitch

Lastly and by no means leastly our 4th bird was just up the drain from here, to the culvert behind PC World. Now a nationally important site for Siberian Chiffchaffs! No time to get any photos as yet.
If we expand the square mile to include the rest of the Poole Harbour recording area we could have completed the compass sectors and had a couple of birds coming in from the north west on the map, with Whooper Swan and Pink-footed Goose recent visitors.