Dorset Walks

Thursday February 16th
Lodmoor RSPB Reserve

list of species seen

Trip Report

We parked overlooking the eastern end of the reserve - a site where Water Pipits often over-winter. We couldn't find any but we did see a smart male Stonechat in compensation.

Walking west along the southern path we didn't see much until we left the cyclepath and looked out across the wet south-western part. Here we saw a good assortment of water birds including Gadwall, Shelduck, Teal and Shoveler with a distant Heron or two. Looking out towards the far western edge we could just see the 2 Spoonbills that have spent the winter here, although unfortunately they were asleep and not very interesting to watch.
A little further on were several vantage points from which we could search the marshes for birds. We soon found a group of Snipe resting quite close to us at the edge of the reeds. While we were watching them a Sparrowhawk flew past low over the water, probably hoping to put up a pipit or other small bird. Not long after the Sparrowhawk had disappeared a very smart male Kestrel flew along the same route, but slower allowing us a better view. When it landed on a post we were able to get the telescope on it and get a really good view.
Turning the corner and walking north we came to a gull flock, including Lesser and Great Black-backed, Herring, Black-headed and Common Gulls. A white object in a bramble bush turned out to be the spiky head of the adult Spoonbill, still resting motionless but keeping a beady eye on us. Off to the left another pale object on a post proved to be the Sparrowhawk posing nicely for us to get a rare view of a Sparrowhawk keeping still.
Next we walked round the reedbeds and onto the northern edge of the reserve, where we added Tufted Duck to the list. Beachdown Way took us back across the middle of the reserve and brought us next to a series of pools, 2 of which held Ruddy Ducks.
The final leg was back along the roadside path towards the car park. We made one last stop to see if the Water Pipits had turned up - they had! A total of 7 birds were feeding not far away on the marsh. In the low sunlight their thick white eyestripes and pale underparts were easily picked out through the telescope. A superb end to a great afternoon's birdwatching!

The day's list...


Little Grebe (heard)
Grey Heron
Mute Swan
Canada Goose Shelduck
Wigeon (heard)
Tufted Duck
Ruddy Duck

Wood Pigeon
Collared Dove
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Black-headed Gull
Common Gull

Green Woodpecker (heard)
Water Pipit
Pied Wagtail
Carrion Crow
House Sparrow


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