Have not done any birding for a few weeks-recent weekends have been taken up with the usual pre Christmas things, and today was no exception.
Had to go down to see my sister Jane in Bournemouth today, and took Mum and my other sister Sarah. Very little to see on the way down, it was rather cold and icy to start, with some rain by the time we hit the M3 but it cleared near Basinstoke and the rest of the day was lovely and sunny. Sarah saw a few Buzzards and Lapwing flocks, but I missed them, though I did notice a few thrushes and Kestrels.
Janes garden seemed to be very attractive to birds with several feeders and berried shrubs. Blackbirds and Coal Tits seemed to be the commonest visitors though there were plenty of Great and Blue Tits coming and going.
The post lunch along Southbourne promenade did not promise much, though on past visits I had seen Stonechats. We saw several Meadow pipits and Pied wagtails feeding on the cliff edge but by far the most unexpected bird and a complete surprise was the Dartford warbler feeding in the gorse adjacent to the very busy path. Sarah and I watched it for several minutes as it worked it's way up the low cliff
and posed very nicely on a small branch. Naturally I did not have my camera gear with me.