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Sightings - Saturday 1st December 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Sat, 12/01/2018 - 19:24
Brent Goose - 2 pale-bellied Ferrybridge.
Scaup - 6 Abbotsbury Swannery.
Long-tailed Duck - 1 juvenile off Shipmoor Point.
Black-necked Grebe - 2 Portland Harbour.
Cattle Egret - 30+ Clayhanger Farm area, 6 in meadows N of Fiddleford Mill.
Red Kite - 1 over Cerne Abbas.
Merlin - 1 m Hartland Moor.
Black Redstart 1 Chesil Cove.
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Sightings - Friday 30th November 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 22:00
Eider - 1m Lyme Regis.
Long-tailed Duck - 1 Weymouth Harbour.
Black-throated Diver - 1 Weymouth Harbour.
Slavonian Grebe - 1 Weymouth Harbour.
Black-necked Grebe - 10 Weymouth Harbour.
Red-necked Grebe - 3 Ferrybridge.
Great White Egret - 1 Longham Lakes, 1 Sturminster Marshal GP.
Cattle Egret - 5 in meadows near Fiddleford Mill.
Marsh Harrier - 1 Stanpit Marsh.
Hen Harrier - 1 Milborne St.Andrew.
Merlin - 1 Durlston CP.
Lapwing - 561 Lytchett Fields RSPB.
Green Sandpiper - 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB.
Firecrest - 2 Durlston CP, 1 Penns Wood.
Lapland Bunting - 1 over Hengistbury Head.

Cormorant – Poole Park ©  David Wareham.
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Do you give nature talks or lead walks? If so, this may interest you ...

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Fri, 11/30/2018 - 19:34

The Nature of Dorset website gets 80,000 visits a year and from time to time I am asked if I will give a talk or lead a walk for a group or club. Sadly, personal circumstances mean I can no longer do this and having turned down another request earlier in the week it struck me that some of you out there obviously do give nature talks and lead walks and rather than turn enquiries down maybe I could redirect them to you. It is with this in mind that I have an idea to create a directory of available talks and walks so that interested groups are not disappointed and those who do this sort of thing can maybe benefit. Like everything on the Nature of Dorset it would be a free resource, no charges will be made to either 'advertiser' or 'enquirer'. That does not stop anyone charging a fee and/or expenses for any service they offer.

To set this up would be quite straight forward; I would need a contact name and a contact email address and telephone number to create log-in credentials and then each interested party could enter some details about what they offer - a title and a short resume, any charges to be made/donation required, any specialist subject areas that are covered and how far one is prepared to travel. This is a 'blank sheet of paper' and I am open to suggestions from anyone who would like to take advantage of the service. It does not have to be limited to walks and talks but could include other services as well so long as they are educational/environmental/conservation biased.

The Nature of Dorset has been, and always will be, a free service educating, supporting and encouraging anyone with an interest in the nature of Dorset and if a directory of walks and talks can help develop that further then it will be well worth a bit of effort to set it up.

Email me at if you are interested. 


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Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Sightings - Thursday 29th November 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 23:06
Scaup - 5+ Abbotsbury Swannery.
Red-throated Diver - 1w past Christchurch Harbour.
Slavonian Grebe - 1 off Christchurch Harbour on the sea.
Cattle Egret - 20+ Clayhanger Farm, Abbotsbury, 15 Nutcracker Lane Wareham.
Grey Phalarope - 1 Stanpit Marsh.
Great Skua - 1w past Christchurch Harbour.
Little Gull - 1 through Ferrybridge.

Mediterranean Gull – Radipole Lake RSPB © David Wareham.
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

The Kingcombe Centre launches new programme of courses & workshops for 2019

Dorset Wildlife Trust - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 10:42

Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Kingcombe Centre in west Dorset has launched its new 2019 programme of courses and workshops on a new-look website.  The programme has 54 courses covering a wide range of subjects, from conservation to chocolate making.  

Categories: Twitter

29th November

Portland Bird Observatory - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 01:52

PBO membership standing ordersAs Obs members will be aware, earlier this year our charitable status changed when we became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO); as part of this change we were required to open a new current bank account. We are in the process of closing our old bank account and request that members who have a membership subscription standing order in our favour transfer this to the new account. For those with online banking facilities this transfer may be readily accomplished via your banking app - our new account details are: Account name Portland Bird Observatory; Sort code 09-01-29; Account No. 19754723Those without online arrangements will require a new standing order form that can be requested from the Obs or downloaded here  - this form should be filled in and returned to us for forwarding to your bank or sent direct to your bank. Apologies for the inconvenience and many thanks for your help with this important matter.
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28th November

Portland Bird Observatory - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 21:03
The final day of the season before the assistant warden heads off North to cooler climes and the Warden does the sensible thing and migrates South for a while saw little in the way of bird action. In fact, out list at the Bill consisted of just three birds: two Redwings and a Goldcrest. Thankfully we were spared by a Black Redstart at Reap Lane and by the Ferrybridge totals of one Goosander, a pair of Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a Bar-tailed Godwit
Last night saw the best nights 'mothing' for some time. The moths appeared in good numbers, presumably due to the relative warmth and calmness of the early parts of last night, and totals included: 37 Diamond-back Moths, 5 Rusty Dot Pearls, 3 Silver Y's, 2 Dark Sword Grasses, a pair of Turnips and a pair of White Specks
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Sightings - Wednesday 28th November 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 21:01
Brent Goose - 2 pale-bellied Ferrybridge.
Goosander - 1 Ferrybridge.
Marsh Harrier -1m Lodmoor RSPB.
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1 Ferrybridge.

Owing to the bad weather these were the only reports.
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Sightings - Tuesday 27th November 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Tue, 11/27/2018 - 22:42
Goosander - 1 Ferrybridge/Portland Harbour
Great Northern Diver - 4 past Branksome Chine
Red-throated Diver - 2 past Branksome Chine
Cattle Egret - 30 Abbotsbury Swannery
Hen Harrier - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Greenshank - 2 Baiter Park
Jack Snipe - 1 Longham Lakes
Little Gull - 1 Portland Harbour
Firecrest - 1 Hengistbury Head
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

27th November

Portland Bird Observatory - Tue, 11/27/2018 - 20:14
Well that's nearly all folks, the end of the season is nigh and the weather was obviously feeling it too with torrential rain and gale force winds forcing us all inside. A frankly eerie drop in wind in the evening led to our daily tallies reaching four species for the obs area: a pair of Fieldfares, a pair of Redwings, 5 Goldcrests and a female Blackcap; whilst the harbour was harbouring the drake Goosander and the lingering Little Gull
Last nights immigrant moths consisted of 6 Diamond-back moths and a White-speck. Fingers crossed that the relaxed winds and relative warmth hold out long enough to catch something good for our last night for a while. 
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Since the last Post

Two Owls Birding - Tue, 11/27/2018 - 14:58
Since our last post I had a few hour to spare and went to Arne and volunteered a few hours which I try to do as regularly as possible. On the way I stopped at a field at Nutcrack Lane and checked if the Cattle Egrets were with the cattle there.  There were nineteen Cattle Egret spread across the field,  so out with the bridge camera for a little shooting and trying out the video mode.  Here's what I managed to get.
Also Arne had been getting a male Brambling into the feeding station behind the Welcome Hut so whilst helping out I kept an eye open for a it to visit.  I was just pointing out the different birds to one of the visitors when I spotted a Brambling but this time it was a female none-the-less a very smart bird and she continued to visit throughout the afternoon though somewhat intermittently to the chagrin of some of the visitors.Female Brambling Arne © Nick HullNext we had a Two Owls group meeting at Blashford Lakes this was on a rather cold damp day but luckily for us it stayed dry right up until we were walking to the cars when it started again. None-the-less we had a good mornings birding see many of the regular species that frequents the reserve.  The highlights were Green Sandpiper on the bank and a dozen Goosander from the Goosander hide was most appropreiate on Ibsley Water.  Also from the Goosander hide we had realy close views of a Snipe which was hunkered down right below the hide amongst trashed willow on the shoreline.Common Snipe - Goosander Hide, Isbley Water, Blashford © Nick Hull

Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

27 Nov 18

Martin Adlam - Tue, 11/27/2018 - 13:44

Rain stopped play today. In fact this afternoon just got darker and darker.

At least it didn't stop the birds visiting the back garden with 4 Great Tits, 2 Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches and House Sparrows all visiting the feeders. On the lawn a male Blackbird, Robin and Dunnock.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2017
Today's Sightings Here
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

26th November

Portland Bird Observatory - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 22:25
In unexpectedly benign conditions - the gentle north-easterly had lost all its raw edge of recent days - there was enough about to keep interest going all day. With the sky clearing as the morning went on few of the new arrivals dropped in for long but overhead there was quite a trickle of thrushes and finches heading through into the breeze; singles of Blackcap and Goldcrest were also new at the Obs, with another 2 Blackcaps featuring at Southwell. Further miscellaneous oddities included singles of Little Egret and Merlin at the Bill, a Great Northern Diver settled offshore there, a Black Redstart at Church Ope and 2 Slavonian Grebes in Portland Harbour.

Last night's immigrant moths: 2 each of Diamond-back Moth and Rusty-dot Pearl at the Obs.

Fieldfares are rather notorious for rarely dropping much lower than the tops of the tallest trees at the Obs so this one - seemingly an adult male - was a nice surprise in the mist-nets today © Martin Cade: 

Although we've received plenty of notifications of birds we've ringed being discovered elsewhere, this year has been one of the poorest we can remember for 'controls' in our nets so two foreign ringed birds - a Chiffchaff from France and a Blackbird from Holland - in the last few days have been very welcome © Martin Cade:  
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Sightings - Monday 26th November 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 20:26
White-fronted Goose - 1 Stanpit
Scaup - 7 Abbotsbury Swannery
Ring-necked Duck - 1 Radipole Lake RSPB
Long-tailed Duck - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Eider - 3 Jerry's Point (Poole Harbour)
Red-throated Diver - 2 Mudeford Quay
Cattle Egret - 25+ Abbotsbury, 18 Stoborough, 17 East Holme
Great White Egret - 1 Littlesea (Studland), 1 Lodmoor RSPB
Slavonian Grebe - 2 Portland Harbour
Black-necked Grebe - 3 Jerry's Point (Poole Harbour)
Hen Harrier - 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB
Lapwing - 300+ Tarrant Keyneston
Golden Plover - c650 Maiden Castle
Lesser Yellowlegs - 1 Lodmoor RSPB
Short-eared Owl - 1 over Hengistbury Head
Dipper - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Firecrest - 1 Hengistbury Head
Dusky Warbler - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery (but no public access)
Siberian Chiffchaff - 1 Sherborne STW
Black Redstart - 1 Church Ope Cove (Portland)
Water Pipit - 1 Wick (Christchurch Harbour)
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

26 Nov 18

Martin Adlam - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 16:30
Rufus Castle and Church Ope Cove

A late afternoon walk down to Church Ope Cove, where for the first time in quite awhile there was a Black Redstart under the cliffs at the north-east corner of the cove. Also here were 3 Rock Pipits, a Pied Wagtail, 3 Wrens and 2 Herring Gulls.

Out to sea a fishing boat was heading back to Weymouth with a good 20+ gulls at the rear and a couple of Cormorants heading in the opposite direction.

No sign of the Firecrest from yesterday, but on the steps half-way up to Rufus Castle there were 2 Goldcrests, a Great Tit, Blue Tit and a Robin in the small copse on the right in Penns Weare Here.

Also on the steps I came across the headless corpse of a Kestrel. There were 3 Kestrels here on 14 Nov having a right dispute. Is it possible they had a fight to the end!!

Here are a few photos from this afternoon:

The Black Redstart appears to be back.
Not venturing far from the large boulders....... stayed here for awhile before heading off to the southern end of the beach.
One of the 2 Herring Gulls lurking on the shoreline.
Just the 3 Rock Pipits here today.
Not sure why this Kestrel died, possibly the result of a fight with a rival. Who knows!!
A fishing boat returns to Weymouth with gulls for company.
Dawn, Ted and Benji at Rufus Castle.
And another pose for the camera.
Ted the rock climber.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2017
Today's Sightings Here
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

DWT runs free event for National Lottery players

Dorset Wildlife Trust - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 10:48

Dorset Wildlife Trust’s (DWT’s) Great Heath team is running a free beginners’ bird watching event for National Lottery players on Monday 3rd December at Holes Bay, Poole.

Categories: Twitter

Sightings - Sunday 25th November 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 22:32
Eurasian White-fronted Goose - 1 West Knighton GPs
Black Brant - 1 The Fleet (Butterstreet Cove)
Mandarin - 1 West Bexington
Ring-necked Duck - 1 Radipole Lake RSPB
Long-tailed Duck - 1 Poole Harbour
Velvet Scoter - 1 Portland Bill
Goosander - 1 drake Ferrybridge
Red-throated Diver - 5 West Bexington, 3 Mudeford Quay, 2 Portland Bill
Manx Shearwater - 1 Portland Bill
Cattle Egret - 20 Abbotsbury, 19 East Holme, 19+ Pallington (near Tincleton), 1 over Wareham Channel, 3+ Stoborough
Great White Egret - 3 Longham Lakes, 2 or 3 Lodmoor RSPB
Spoonbill - 1+ Brownsea Island lagoon
Slavonian Grebe - 1 Portland Harbour
Black-necked Grebe - 4 Portland Harbour
Hen Harrier - 1 male Slepe Heath, 1 ringtail Hartland Moor
Green Sandpiper - 1 Christchurch Harbour
Lesser Yellowlegs - 1 Lodmoor RSPB
Little Gull - 1 Portland Harbour
Short-eared Owl - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery, 1 Portesham
Firecrest - 1 near East Holme bridge
Dusky Warbler - 1 East Fleet Farm (audible from road, but no public access)
Black Redstart - 1 Chesil Cove, 1 Blacknor (Portland)
Water Pipit - 1 Sunnyside Farm
Serin - 1 Portland Bill

Yesterday: a juvenile male Eider off the Cobb, Lyme Regis
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Green Crab Spider

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 19:34

A southern local species on garden shrubs that is more at home in Europe


Photograph by: Terry Elborn The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Peeling Oysterling

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 19:31

A common species on rotting wood, stumps and fallen branches


Photograph by: Charlie Richardson The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Orange Coral Fungus

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 19:29

Common amongst leaf litter and on rotting wood and also ferns


Photograph by: Lynda Lambert The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter


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