Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Radipole and Lodmoor - 13th February

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 drake Ring-necked Duck which had been present on the reserve since 4th November when it was in its first-winter plumage. 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 Tufted Duck. 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 Mediterranean Gull, 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 Lesser Yellowlegs 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 Lapwing was regularly disturbed by a hunting male Marsh Harrier and there were small numbers of Black-tailed Godwit just about beginning their transition to summer plumage. Then, I picked up a very white headed male Ruff and with it the Lesser Yellowlegs. 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 Eurasian Teal. After a short while it was time to head off and continue my journey back to Hampshire.

Shelduck - Lodmoor RSPB

Mediterranean Gull - Lodmoor RSPB

Northern Lapwing - 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