Spring in the valley of plenty
Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog
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5d ago
The lower reaches of the Piddle Valley as it approaches Poole Harbour fall within my local 'patch' at Swineham, and occasionally turn up the odd good bird. But this winter's extreme rainfall saw the valley flood more extensively and for longer than at any time since I've been in the area, leading to a bumper spring for rare and scarce birds as the flood waters receded, leaving as they did a myriad of pools and wet channels which, for a brief period, were topped up by the incoming tide. Little Gull, Lower Piddle Valley, 29th April Little Gull, Lower Piddle Valley, 29th April A ..read more
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*Skip intro*
Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog
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1M ago
Drafting my last post was quite therapeutic so here's another, catching you up on the (very) early stages of my year of birding by bike [just 'skip intro' if you prefer your news more current]. After three years of going for pretty much everything that circumstances allowed, I decided to try to take it a bit easier in 2024, concentrating on 'bike ticks' - species which I have never seen before by non-motorised means. I say 'try' because old habits die hard, and the year listing is what keeps me fit. As a result, the intention was to still keep a careful tally of what I saw, but just be a bit m ..read more
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Back with a whimper
Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog
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2M ago
So long is it since I posted anything in this space I had to blow the dust off first. Not sure why exactly - there never seems to be enough time I suppose, but I am hereby resolving to make time rather than doom-scrolling through social media of an evening - and invite you, dear reader, to doom-scroll through this one. Because if I've had a shittier afternoon this year I can't recall it.  Sandwich Tern, Arne It started well enough with a genteel visit to the local garden centre with the lovely wife - yes we're that old, and we really needed that trellis - when news reached me tha ..read more
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Family first(ish)
Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog
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5M ago
Whilst I do almost all my local birding by bike these days, and would be the first to recommend giving it a go, I try not to be preachy about it and am certainly no saint, still enjoying the occasional foray further afield in the car. I try to keep the emissions down even then, sharing with friends wherever possible or combining family visits with birding opportunities when I can. This strategy proved quite effective over the last year or so due to some happy coincidences of where my relatives live and where some good birds happened to turn up. Baikal Teal (male), Greylake, Somerset Dece ..read more
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Heavy going: the lowlights of 2023
Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog
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5M ago
I get a lot of satisfaction and reward from birding by bike, but if this blog gives the impression that life is just one long freewheel through glorious sunny countryside, after which I screech to a halt and punch the air on seeing my target bird, I'm afraid that wouldn't be entirely accurate. Isabelline Wheatear at Seaton Marshes, Devon in December 2022 - only 2 people saw the first Dorset record at Swyre Head on 2 December 2023 and I was not among them! I went the next day in foul weather but it had moved on. December 2023 was a particularly grim month bird wise. First, it was that ..read more
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Temptation and penance
Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog
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7M ago
I do almost all my local birding by bike these days but there is still the odd occasion - a new bird for the county list, for example - when time is of the essence and I succumb to the temptations of a twitch by car. The finding of an American Golden Plover by Daragh Croxson on Saturday 25th November was one such occasion and the chance of a lift with Phil Saunders was not to be missed. It was a glorious sunny day, perfect for a bike ride, but I had been on a long walk around Swineham first thing and didn't really have the energy for the 17 mile journey to Weymouth. Besides, I also had designs ..read more
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The closing stages
Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog
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7M ago
After success last weekend adding Storm Petrel and Spotted Sandpiper to the non-motorised year list, I managed a couple more year ticks in the weekend just gone. Best was a Snow Bunting at Studland but I also made the effort to get down to Weymouth in the hope of seeing a lingering Ferruginous Duck - it didn't appear, but consolation came with my first Red-throated Diver of the year, keeping company with a couple of Great Northerns way out in a flat calm Weymouth Bay. Snow Bunting, Studland Snow Bunting, Studland At this time of year, with not many weeks left until 2023 draw ..read more
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White's Thrush: the rematch
Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog
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8M ago
On the final day of my Shetland trip this time last year I had frustratingly poor flight views through misted spectacles of my first White's Thrush as it tazzed around Clickimin Loch in torrential rain. By the end of that day my clothes were wet through and my camera had packed up, as a result of which White's Thrush remained one of about a dozen birds I have seen but never photographed. White's Thrush, Bressay, 5th October The discovery of another on Bressay on the afternoon of 4th October this year saw us heading out from our accommodation on Muckle Roe well before dawn on the morni ..read more
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Another good team find on Shetland
Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog
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8M ago
Day 5 of our Shetland trip saw us return to the woodland at Sullom soon after breakfast to see if we could pin down the possible Olive-backed Pipit we had flushed the night before. We couldn't, and eventually moved on after a thorough search of the wider area. Bluethroat, Stenness, 4th October Bluethroat, Stenness, 4th October Bluethroat, Stenness, 4th October Countless bushes and stands of trees were checked over the next few hours without much to write home about until we made our way to Voe, a one-house town at the end of a no through road where gardens and nettl ..read more
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Another tick for one of the team on Shetland
Peter Moore's Wildlife Blog
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8M ago
2nd October was our 3rd full day on Shetland and we were keen to see if we could keep up our record of at least one good bird every day. We decided to head for the hamlet of Wester Quarff to look for an unidentified species of Subalpine Warbler found the previous day in the knowledge that it would be a new species for one of us: I had yet to see Moltoni's; Phil hadn't seen Eastern and James hadn't seen Western.  Being a female, identification would not be straightforward, but Eastern was favoured at the point we went for our first look. This turned out to be academic as the bird didn't sh ..read more
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