Tuesday, 9 October 2018

The Portland Principle

Shag, Portland, 04/10/2018 (Copyright T D Wright )
Bonxie, Portland, 04/10/2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
Hoopoe, Portland, October 2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
Having failed to spot anything new on patch recently (despite rumours of Whooper Swan, Marsh Harrier and Long-billed Dowitcher!) I accepted the kind offer of a lift to Portland (from @CharmouthBirder) based on the principle that I would at least see some different species for a change. This we certainly did, including a couple of rares and some goodies at nearby Lodmoor to boot. (We didn't boot them, in fact no flushing was necessary). The highlight for me though was a relatively 'common' species - the Great Skua or Bonxie - which I rarely see from Seaton. It was Richard who picked it up but it came closer & closer in order to exploit one of those close-in fishing vessels which seem to be tacking a fine line between Portland Bill & the Portland Race. A cluster of gulls were feeding around this boat including a Great Black-back which must have been as gutted as the fish being thrown to it when the Bonxie robbed it of a beakful. Tremendous entertainment. A few auks and Common Scoters plus Kittiwake passing by kept us amused too.
    We also witnessed a bit of a Chiffchaff fall around the bill, with very meagre bits of cover holding absurd numbers of birds. Wheatears,Stonechats,Wagtails, Skylarks and Mipits were about plus a lone Spotted Flycatcher which performed nicely near the Obs. A Clouded Yellow butterfly flew through my bins as we looked at the Linnet flock. Further up the island, we enjoyed brief views of Turtle Dove and prolonged views of Hoopoe.
     At Lodmoor, 2 Great White Egrets were mobile and conspicuous. The Grey Phalarope showed well if distantly. A Hobby gave us a terrific flying display and a Marsh Harrier flushed most of the waders although we couldn't see the Yellowlegs among them. All-in-all a good visit to an area I don't get to so often nowadays. Pure Portland Pleasures...
Marsh Harrier, Lodmoor, October 2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
Marsh Harrier, Lodmoor, October 2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
Med Gulls, Lodmoor, October 2018 (Copyright T D Wright)

Friday, 28 September 2018

Spotshank & Wood Sand

     No time for downloading photos but just to update on news. There was yet another Spotted Redshank on Black Hole yesterday (which somebody had written as Stopped Redshank on the board! Fnarr!) and a Wood Sandpiper was a nice accompaniment. A bit like Bombay potatoes with your Jalfrezi.
     Two each of Green & Common Sandpiper plus Greenshank provided a varied diet (must have some greens) whilst the stodge was there in the form of 18 Dunlin and too many Blackwits plus Common Redshanks to count. More Curlew now on the estuary where 4 Wigeon for dessert were a nice taster of the kind of fayre we can expect in large portions for the next 6 months. Ooh, I'm feeling hungry now - time for some lunch I reckon...

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Cattle Egrets

Quick update to last post is that I tried again on Wednesday evening to see the Cattle Egrets from Coly Common hide and was rewarded when no less than SEVEN of the blighters flew low South across the scrape at 18:17 precisely. I believe they are roosting further down the valley but haven't heard anything more since Mark Dobinson had possibly double figures there. Will they overwinter again? Maybe but there's no guarantee of that.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Ruff Extra

Ruff, BHM, 16/09/2018 (Copyright T D Wright)

Apologies for absence

It's almost a month since I posted here which is unusual for this time of year. Unfortunately, the dreaded Toad (Work) has squatted upon my life and prevented me from birding, snapping and blogging to my usual extent. I have quickly thrown down some selected highlights from the last four weeks below but most of these birds have now moved on. Last night I managed a quick look from Coly Common hide but failed to see the Cattle Egrets. However, I managed a Greenshank and Ringed Plover there so moved to BHM where another Greenshank was present. Tower hide produced 2 Greenshanks on the estuary which may mean 4 in total (although the previous 2 may have both flown to the estuary and linked up I suppose!). Those of you who are on Twitter are more likely to see me post there these days but I will update the blog when I have time. Good luck to you!

Ruff, etc.

Ruff, BHM, 16/09/2018 (Copyright T D Wright)

Sanderling, BHM, Sept. 2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
Spotted Redshanks, BHM, Sept. 2018 (Copyright T D Wright)
Wood Sandpiper, BHM, Sept.2018 (Copyright T D Wright)

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Gadwall

I returned to BHM late last night but no further dragonfly sightings. However, a look from Tower hide revealed a Gadwall among the myriad Mallards so a late addition to the day-tally.