Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Dorset - Puddletown Water Meadows Bardolf Farm - Happy Hirundining!

The outlook did not promise much but we are in a peak period for migration therefore anything could turn up. I started out on the Water Meadows dodged the cattle (I do like this herd as they don’t follow you around!) and the first action of the day was 104 Mallard that flew in from the NE. A small percentage pitched down on the River Piddle. The remainder circled for a while before departing in all directions!

There were a trickle of Hirundines across the Meadows but nothing to get excited about. I trawled the Causeway pond and the hedgerows where there were a good mix of passerines including Treecreeper a few Coal Tit, Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker. This prompted me to head to Burleston pond where the action was to hot up! A few passerines around the pond and a Spotted Flycatcher on the wires near the pond. Instinct told me to shoot first then deploy the binos on this occasion!

I went back to the truck to have a snack and I noticed a steady flow of hirundines heading SE over the clump of trees I was parked beside. This continued for a while so I drank up and moved onto the ridge at Long Bottom. The flow of mostly Swallow continued for a good hour before I repositioned myself opposite the ridge to Waterbarn cottages. At one point there were 100+ Swallow at the bottom of the valley who seemed to be held up by the conditions. The skies brightened up and whoosh they were gone!

I moved to the “hide” and watched on for another hour or so with pulses of hirundines passing through the area. Later in the afternoon the Maize fields behind me were cut which had me return early evening to note what had moved onto the field. Corvids and a few pigeon were the only offering but it will give me an incentive to get up early tomorrow to check the fields again!

I am still eagerly awaiting the arrival of the geese but I think the meadows need some more rain! One did make an appearance this morning only to be chased off by the Mute Swan on the pond!