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Sightings -Tuesday 29th May 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 22:42
Common Crane - 2 over Sturminster Newton.
Rose-coloured Starling - 1 still Bill Quarry, Portland. 1N over Portland Bill.
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Part 2 Bentley Wood on Hampshire - Wiltshire Border

Two Owls Birding - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 18:07
Part 2 continued from previous blog.

Our next walk took us to the Hampshire/Wiltshire border at Bentley Wood famous as a site for Purple Emperor Butterfly it is also good for birds though our visit here was a general wildlife walk.  The morning didn't promise good weather and we had heavy downpour on our way and as we gathered in the car park there wasn't to much optimism, but I said a little humidity would be good for the butterflies.  It didn't take long to pick up Brimstone both male and females, then I found the first Pearl-bordered Fritillary of what turned out to be many, they seemed to have done pretty well here this year.
Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Bentley Wood © Nick HullAlso common here is Speckled Yellow a species of day flying moth which larva feeds on Wood Sage.  Another day flying moth which you can find here is the Argent & Sable which is a scarce and local species in the south more common on Scottish moors. The larva spins the leaf of Bog Myrtle of Birch to form a cocoon and we found a number on these on the birch tree around the clearing and later I found a single flying adult which landed long enough to get a couple of shots of.
Argent & Sable- larva spun leaf cocoon and adult moth © Nick HullWe also came across a couple of other day flying moths one Pyrausta aurata a micro moth sometimes called Mint Moth the other was a Cinnabar Moth whose yellow and black caterpillars are found on ragwort plants. I also saw a single Burnet Companion but it disappeared into the grass before others managed to see it..
Pyrausta aurata ©Jackie Hull and Cinnabar Moth © Martin WoodThese are a few more species seen on our morning walk ranging from Oil Beetles, Broad-bodied Chaser and other butterfly species like Green-veined White, Grizzled Skipper and Speckled Wood.
female Oil Beetle © Nick Hull - Broad-bodied Chaser and Speckled Wood © Martin WoodGrizzled Skipper upper side © Martin Wood - Underside © Nick HullWe also came across a small stack of rotted wood where we found a number of Common Lizard soaking in the sun and warmth.
Common Lizard © Nick HullBird highlights recorded were both Garden Warbler and Blackcap, Cuckoo, Tree Pipit, Kestrel, Buzzard and a male Goshawk as well as the more commoner species.

We ended our day visiting the RSPB Winterborne Downs reserve at Newton Tony in Wiltshire where we were looking for downland species and successfully seeing Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting, Whitethroat, Lapwing, Linnets, we also had an immature Red Kite drift over us showing signs of moult in its inner primaries.  Our target species had been seen by others but for us was keeping well out of sight.  It's good job that Jackie and I had a backup site not too far away and we headed off there.  Fortunately it took me just a minute or two scoping across the arable field to find one at the edge of the grass-line and the cultivated ground not just one but two an adult and a chick Stone Curlew.  Martin then picked up the other adult just a little way to the right and we were able to get good scope views of these amazing looking birds.  A little while later Ann and Tim managed to find another pair in the adjacent field and a Red Kite flew over us a perfect end to an excellent day.
Stone Curlew ©free internet photoThanks to all that came along for making it such a good and varied day.

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29 May 18

Martin Adlam - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 18:02
Easton and Wakeham

What a contrast in the weather with cloudy and windy conditions replacing the lovely warm sun we had been enjoying over the past few days. The only real highlight was a pair of Swifts over Easton.

In the back garden and inside the conservatory several Marmalade Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatusa). On the wall a 7-spot Ladybird and a bee which I think is an Andrena scotica landed on a leaf on the Cherry Tree which allowed me to get a real close-up before it flew off.

On the neighbours chimney pot the Herring Gulls are now feeding a hungry chick.

A Marmalade Hoverfly.
It's not often you can freeze a shot of them, let alone focus on them.
I believe this is one of the Andrenidae species.
And could well be an Andrena scotica 
Hopefully I will be able to get the correct ID.
A 7-spot Ladybird
And finally the Herring Gulls have a hungry mouth to feed on the neighbours chimney pot.
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2 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Five: South Georgia Pipit

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 18:00
Prion Island is another of the approved landing places for Expedition ships in South Georgia & lies within the Bay of Islands so it has the benefit of only being a short distance from Salisbury Plain. While we were having lunch after the morning at Salisbury Plain, the Plancius was moving location so it would be able to land us at Prion Island.
Sailing through the Bay of Islands: From the warmth of the observation lounge
A better close up The South Georgia conservation team have constructed an excellent boardwalk through the vegetation from the beach, to minimise the impact that visitors have on the habitat. Once we landed we were told to walk quickly to the boardwalk & not to leave it, till we were at the bottom again & the Expedition team were ready to load us into the next zodiac. Another condition at Prion Island is there is a limit to the number of visitors who can be on the boardwalk at any time. Therefore, the plan was they would land the Petrels group, including myself, first & then carry out a zodiac trip with the Albatross group. At the end of the Albatross zodiac cruise, the zodiacs carrying the Albatross parties would go to the beach and land them & we would get into zodiacs for our zodiac cruise.
There was an excellent boardwalk through the vegetation towards the top of a nearly hill: This minimised the impact of people on the vegetation, but also to the large number of Antarctic Fur Seals which were in the Tussock Grass
The view from the boardwalk
As we were walking back to the beach, we found a couple of South Georgia Pipits feeding in the wet, bare stream bed next to the boardwalk. They were totally unfazed by our presence & happily carried on feeding allowing plenty of photo opportunities at only a couple of metres distance. It was good to see them well, given my views at Salisbury Plain were fairly brief.
South Georgia Pipit: They are the only Passerine on South Georgia, apart from any vagrant visitors
South Georgia Pipit: Not surprising they are endemic to South GeorgiaSouth Georgia Pipit: Most of the South Georgia Pipits were only found on the offshore islands, due to the impact of introduced Rats on the mainland
South Georgia Pipit: Bath time South Georgia Pipit: Now Rats have been eradicated from South Georgia, it is encouraging to see that South Georgia Pipits were returning to the mainlandSouth Georgia Pipit
Morton Jorgensen photographing one of the South Georgia Pipits: Just after this it walked under the boardwalk & headed off into the Tussock Grass. Morton was a passenger on the Odyssey, but switched to become the Expedition Leader for the West African PelagicRat & Mice clearance on these isolated Seabird islands is so important. I would recommend anybody who wants to donate some money to conservation considers donating to removal of these introduced predators. One of the next projects will be to clear Mice on Gough Island in 2019 - people can find more information & donate here.
We needed to get going down the boardwalk as zodiacs were arriving to swap people over One of the zodiacs arriving to drop some of the Albatross passengers off & collect us for our zodiac cruise
I was pleased to have had prolonged views of a couple of South Georgia Pipits. What I hadn't expected was I would see at another sixteen on the zodiac cruise as every little inlet within the rocks had at least two South Georgia Pipits feeding on the rocks.
Entering one of the inlets South Georgia Pipit: Showing the habitat. I was nervous to get my main camera out in the zodiac, so switched to the SX60 which does have the disadvantage of not being as sharp & enhances the yellow/green colours in the photos
South Georgia Pipit: It's behind you feeding at the tide lineSouth Georgia Pipit: They were totally unworried by a zodiac next to us. On a couple of occasions, they flew off the rocks to hover over an approaching zodiac in curiosity
South Georgia Pipit: One of the things I got used to on the Odyssey was seeing the few Passerines in habitats that European Birders would not generally expect them to be. Most European Pipits tend to be open grassland species, albeit Rock Pipits would be fairly comfortable in this habitat. I guess given the limitations of food sources on a small island, mean they have adapted to take advantage of every food source
Mike Deverell pointing something out to Glenn Overington: I hadn't met either before before, but both became firm friends & we spent many enjoyable evenings in the observation lounge having a drink (albeit only tea in my case)
Zodiac cruise over it was time to head back to the Plancius
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The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ...28-05-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 10:55
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Saturday, 28 April, 2018 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

28th May

Portland Bird Observatory - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 00:16
Yesterday's comment that it's now rarity season was more a simple statement of fact than something prophetic and so it came to pass today with first a Rosy Starling - probably just as likely a new individual than one of yesterday's birds - and then a Black-headed Bunting turning up at the Bill; the Rosy Starling performed on and off all day between the Bill lighthouse and the QinetiQ compound whilst the Black-headed Bunting was eventually pinned down in Top Fields late in the afternoon after first being reported briefly (as an unidentified bird seen by an inexperienced birder) early in the morning near Wallsend. A Nightjar was also seen briefly at the Bill whilst commoner migrants there included 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 each of Wheatear and Spotted Flycatcher, and a single Reed Warbler; 4 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, an unseasonable Brent Goose and a Whimbrel were at Ferrybridge. Sea reports included 29 Common Scoter and singles of Whimbrel and Great Skua through off the Bill.

The Rosy Starling in the Bill Quarry © Keith Pritchard (stills) and Martin Cade (video)...



...and the Black-headed Bunting in Top Fields © Martin Cade:

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Sightings - Monday 28th May 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 21:38
Brent Goose - 1 Ferrybridge.
Rose-coloured Starling - 2 Nottington. 1 Portland Bill.
Black-headed Bunting - 1 male Top Fields, Portland Bill.

Black-headed Gull, fly-catching – Brownsea Island DWT ©Lorne Bissell.
Rose-coloured Starling – Bill Quarry, Portland ©Roger Hewitt.
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Three Counties Wildlife

Two Owls Birding - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 20:18

Well, it's that time of year when you're out walking and you come across all sorts of wildlife, though here at Two Owls we are primarily looking for birds we never pass anything without pointing it out.  From beautiful Orchids, Butterflies, Dragonflies right down to bugs, beetles to the larger mammals we think it makes for a better more interesting walk.
So here today as usual we are catching up with highlights from our recent walks locally and further afield in fact from three counties Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

Our walk in the Wareham Forest was fairly uneventful other than we had a chance to get back to basics and used our ears to listen to many of the common species and identify them from their songs and calls, which everyone enjoyed and some surprised themselves with recognising a number of species which they don't have locally to them.  A Mistle Thrush, always nice to hear sat as is usual at the top of an oak singing well and gave a photo opportunity.  We also heard and watched the singing display flight of Siskin, Meadow Pipit and Greenfinch, also watching Dartford Warbler, Linnet, Stonechat and nicest of all screaming Swift and a Cuckoo.
Mistle Thrush aka "Storm Cock" Sherford Bridge ©Nick HullOur next walk was to Holt Heath, near Wimborne.  We started in the car park with Goldcrest singing in the Scots Pine over our heads, as we moved off out onto the heath we started checking off all the common species such as Robin, Chaffinch Song Thrush and migrants such as Chiffchaff and Blackcap. Once out on the heath itself we watch a Common Whitethroat doing its display song flight and had several Linnet singing and Swifts screaming through the sky above us along with a couple of Common Buzzard.

As we walked on Jackie heard our first Tree Pipit but it took us a while before we managed to locate it singing from the top of a dead tree.  Also we were serenaded by Woodlark and its relative Skylark just before seeing our first Dartford Warbler which seemed to be busy collecting food.  We located several Stonechat on our walk but only heard a single Cuckoo and Kestrel.  Though probably the best of the bird sightings were the three pairs of Curlew that were displaying over the bog.

During our walk we came across a couple of large beetles which always seems to add interest.
Minotaur Beetle (male) Holt Heath © Nick HullGround Beetle Carabus arvensis Holt Heath © Nick HullAdding to the variety of wildlife recorded we added Beautiful Demoiselle, Azure and Large Red Damselflies and Broad-bodied Chaser, Brimstone, Common Blue, Green Hairstreak and Green-veined White Butterflies. Also we found our first Common Spotted Orchids for the year.
Green Hairstreak Holt Heath © Nick HullTo be continued:-
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Black-headed Bunting

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 19:24

A rare vagrant species from south-east Europe and the middle east through to India

 

Photograph by: Portland Bird Observatory 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 Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Spider (H heri)

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 19:18

Thought to be extinct in the UK but found recently at Radipole!

 

Photograph by: RSPB Weymouth 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 Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Little Thorn

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 19:13

 

An uncommon species as its food plant is bilberry

 

Photograph by: Mark Andrews 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 Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
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Casual records from walks

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 18:52
Title Casual records from walks Contributor's Name Peter Orchard Description

I do less survey work now and tend to note just the more interesting species I see. This is my way of easily adding them to the Nature of Dorset database

List Opened Mon, 28/05/2018 - 18:52 List Class Other Open or Closed Open List Species:  Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 Species Link Sites Link Record Date Comment Photo Azure Damselfly Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Beautiful Demoiselle Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Blackcap Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Brimstone Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Chaffinch Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Cocks-foot Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Common Blue Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Common Carder Bee Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Common Milkwort Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Common Rock-rose Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Common Spotted Orchid Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Four-spotted Chaser Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Garden Warbler Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Green Hairstreak Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Green-veined White Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Heath Spotted Orchid Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Large Red Damselfly Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Large White Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Sanicle Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Sika Deer Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Small Heath Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Small White Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Speckled Wood Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm Speckled Wood Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Sweet Vernal-grass Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Wren Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve 27/05/2018 Sandford Heath 2.00pm - 3.30pm Yellow Rattle Powerstock Common Nature Reserve 28/05/2018 Powerstock Common 1.00pm - 2.30pm

You can download your list to your own computer in any one of three formats using the tabs below. You can choose comma separated variables, Excel spreadsheet or text file to suite your needs.

Distribution: No
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2 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Five: South Georgia's Salisbury Plain

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 18:00
An early wake up call for many, but I was already up. We had arrived at the first of our planned landings in South Georgia & had the first proper land to look at from the Plancius since leaving Ushuaia. The ship was making its final approach to Salisbury Plain which had around 25,000 breeding pairs of King Penguins.
Sunrise at South Georgia: The old English expression "red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning" doesn't apply to South Georgia. It was just an indication of the start of an excellent "red letter day" which in Britain is a special treat daySunrise at South Georgia: The close up looks more like a sunset than a sunriseAt the daily pre-dinner briefing the previous day, we had been told the landings would be staged with the even cabins (known as the Albatrosses group) going first & the odd cabins (known as Petrels group) to follow. I was in an odd numbered cabin & therefore could have a slightly more leisurely breakfast. However, we would all have the morning ashore with zodiac rides back when we wanted, so the only difference would be the landing order. The landing order was alternated so that Petrels would be first at the next landing.
South GeorgiaSalisbury Plain is in the North West of South Georgia: The long beach of Salisbury Plain is on the North coast where the vertical map line crosses the coastlineAt first light, the ship made its final approaches to Salisbury Plain through the Bay of Islands. The initial views of South Georgia was stunning. This was the start of a routine we were to get used to when close to land. After an earlier morning call, there was an early breakfast during the final approach, with a couple of zodiacs put in the water to scout out the landing sites. Assuming the sea conditions were OK for us to get in the zodiacs, then up to 9 of the 11 zodiacs were launched. Seven of the Expedition staff & two of the Filipino crew were good zodiac handlers, but some of the Expedition staff took turns ashore to man the landing site. Generally, a few less zodiacs were used for landings, compared to occasions when we were only able to do zodiac cruises. Other members of the ship's crew & the Expedition Doc, Laura, assisted in coordinating the gangway, with the Doc usually one of the last to land with the fairly substantial medical kit.
Making the final approach to Salisbury Plain through the Bay of IslandsSome of the Islands were to our leftOne of the many large South Georgia glaciers: As usual there was a stiff wind blowing (today it was a Westerly wind)
Getting closer to Salisbury Plain
Salisbury Plain: Anchored in the bayIt wasn't long after the first of the Albatrosses started getting into the zodiacs, before we were called to head to the zodiac loading deck. One of the advantages of travelling with a relatively small group of around 100 passengers on a well run expedition ship was we could all land fairly quickly.
The locals put out a good welcome committee as the final zodiac lands the last of the Expedition staff: Doc Laura (bobble hat) & Leon (from St Helena) with Hans driving the zodiac
King Penguin: These guys showing they didn't need a zodiac It was difficult to know what to photograph first when surrounding with some many curious & obliging subjects. But I started with the King Penguins, which must be one of the top ten Birds I've seen. They weren't a Tick, but being so approachable & tame, they are great subjects. The only drawback is they are also very inquisitive & sometimes want to get too close to check you out.
King Penguin: Part of the beach at Salisbury PlainKing Penguin: It was raining by the time I arrived on the beach & the light wasn't great at that point, but fortunately, it picked up later after the rain stopped. The zodiacs had to carefully navigate through the mass of swimming King PenguinsKing Penguin: That's where these Giant Penguins came fromKing Penguin: Part of the colony carries on up towards the top of the hillside
King Penguin: The right hand King Penguin walked by & ignored the noisy disagreement from the other twoKing PenguinKing Penguin: Even when dirty they are stunning & at three foot high they are the second largest Penguin. There are fossil records of a Penguin species that was five foot six inches high: that would have been amazing to see
King Penguin: They are noisy & this one is about to start calling
King PenguinKing Penguin: The main colony was packed
King PenguinKing PenguinKing PenguinKing PenguinKing Penguin: They are hard to keep away from anything left unattendedKing Penguin: I'm sure this must be edibleKing Penguin: There were large numbers of King Penguins in the water, including this porpoising individual
The beach was relatively quiet in places
The Expedition team had marked out a path along the back of the beach to minimise the our disturbance to the wildlife
This wet pool along the back of the beach stopped people walking off the beach
The King Penguins waiting patiently for the next Southern Rail train to the sea from the edge of the colony
The end of the accessible beach for the passengers
Hong Kong Birder John Holmes: Trying to impress the birds with his big lens
Guess I should have a photo taken
Bob Flood: Is he wondering how to convince Ashley to work on another Seabird book?There were a selection of other Birds on the beach.
Wilson's Storm-petrel: One of the surprises was seeing a number of Wilson's Storm-petrels flying over the beach & just offshore during the morning. I guess they feel relatively safe from the attention of Brown Skuas & Kelp Gulls given the number of King Penguins chicks on the beach to provide food
Snowy Sheathbill: These unattractive Birds do a good job of scavenging & cleaning up the colonyBrown Skua: This is the Falklands subspecies & is another species that is a good scavenger around the colonyBrown Skua: The Falklands Brown Skua occurs from South Georgia to the Falklands & SE Argentina. Most winter off SE South AmericaBrown Skua: Unattended young or ill King Penguins don't have a chance with this bill
South Georgia Pipit: Several had flown out to check out the Plancius despite being a few hundred metres offshore. Unfortunately, I missed this first sighting. However, I did see a couple on the beach. Clearance of Rats on South Georgia seems to have resulted in the population of South Georgia Pipits bouncing back on the mainland. Rat & Mice clearance on these isolated Seabird islands is so importantIt is very hard to really take in a place like Salisbury Plain. The natural instinct for anybody with a camera is to keep photographing the King Penguins, other Birds, Antarctic Fur Seals & spectacular scenery. However, you do need to remember stop photographing & just look & enjoy the overall wildlife spectacle & scenery in front of you. Anyway, back to photography. One of the first sights on landing on Salisbury Plain, after the King Penguins, are the Antarctic Fur Seal pups. Presumably, the pups are now large enough at this time in the season for the mothers to leave them & go out to sea to look for food. There were a fair number of pups on the beach, all looking for their mothers to return. Some are just resting, but quite a few are inquisitive & slowly waddling around on the beach: all are cute & photogenic. They are more than happy to come & check you out if you stay still.
Antarctic Fur Seal: Pup. Ninety-five percent of all Antarctic Fur Seals breed on South Georgia. However, they also breed in smaller numbers on Bouvet Island, Heard & McDonald Islands, the Kerguelen Islands, the South Shetlands, the South Shetland & South Orkneys Islands. Additionally, they breed on Prince Edward Island, Crozet Island & Macquarie Island which lie North of the cold circumpolar current called the Antarctic ConvergenceAntarctic Fur Seal: Pup. This species was decimated in South Georgia by the whalers for their oil in the late 19th & early 20th century & it is thought there may only have been around 100 left in South Georgia in the 1930s. Fortunately, this is long in the past & their numbers have recovered to an estimated 4.5 - 6.2 million worldwideAntarctic Fur Seal: Pup. It is thought that part of the reason for the quick recovery of the Antarctic Fur Seal was their main competitor for Krill, the Rorqual Whales, were also decimated by the whaling industry & the population of the large Whales has been a lot slower to recover
Antarctic fur Seal: Most are cute & inquisitive, especially if you stay stillAntarctic Fur Seal: Pup. This one looks a bit more sleepy
Antarctic Fur Seal: Bull. There are still a few bulls left on the beach
Antarctic Fur Seal: The majority of the colony was behind the beach
There was a path marked across the Antarctic Fur Seal colony behind the beach: Which I decided not to take, to allow me to enjoy the King Penguins for longerWaiting for the next zodiac back to the ship: Getting from the Plancius was straight-forward at firstKing Penguins wondering why the Giant Penguins didn't swim in: The splashes are porpoising King Penguins
The last part of the zodiac route in was slowLoading a zodiacThe Expedition staff could still enjoy themselves when on the beachThe next version of the Dunkirk evacuation story looks to be a low budget filmZodiac heading back to the PlanciusHaving got back to the ship, I grabbed a drink & went back on deck to find the Plancius was being checked out by more King Penguins. An excellent morning & one which the rain couldn't spoil. While we were having lunch, the ship was moving a short distance to our next location for the afternoon: Prion Island one of the islands which forms the Bay of Islands.
King Penguins
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28 May 18

Martin Adlam - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 10:30
The Slopes

Love living on Portland, especially when you can just drop everything and go off and see a new bird that has arrived from across the Channel. This morning it was Rosy Starling which is thought to have been a different bird to the two seen at The Bill yesterday.

Apparently there is quite an influx of this beautifully coloured Starling on the Continent. This one today was outside the west fence of Qinetiq Here, which made it difficult to view firstly because of the haze and secondly because of the distance myself and other birders were having to view it from Here.

Also about a pair of Stonechats, a Skylark and a pair of Meadow Pipits collecting food for youngsters. Lots of Common Blues and Small Blues, plus what I believe is a Common-grass Veneer (Agriphila tristella).

Here are few images from this morning plus a very hazy video and images of the Rosy Starling.

Qinetiq........
........with the viewing point at the far right of the fence.
The Rosy Starling..........
............well camouflaged in the pink Thrift.
It was really hazy this morning, but you can just make out this adult Rosy Starling feeding in amongst the Thrift.
Staonechat
A Meadow Pipit with food.
A Skylark
A female Small Blue
And if I've got this right a Common-grass Veneer
A Guillemots egg which looks as if it was predated by a Raven.
Note: This is what a Rosy Starling looks like close-up. (This one was at Flamborough on 24 May 18)   Click Here.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ...27-05-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 08:08
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Saturday, 28 April, 2018 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

27th May

Portland Bird Observatory - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 23:08
Just as it was looking as though spring passage was more or less over for common migrants - a morning of mist-netting at the Obs had produced a blank for the first time this month and there was precious little to be found anywhere else at the Bill - so there was a timely reminder that it's now rarity season as 2 Rosy Starlings dropped in at the Bill; sadly, their stay in and around the QinetiQ compound was pretty brief and they were soon watched heading away to the north. The day's commoner migrant tally included 3 Reed Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and singles of Grey Wagtail and Sedge Warbler at the Bill, a Hobby through at Blacknor and 12 Dunlin, 6 Sanderling, 2 Shelduck and a Whimbrel at Ferrybridge.

There was hardly a sniff of increased immigrant moth activity following the overnight passing of a series of thunderstorms: 4 each of Diamond-back Moth and Silver Y, and 2 Rusty-dot Pearl were the only immigrants trapped at the Obs.

We kicked ourselves for missing out on ace views/photographs of the Rosy Starlings: on responding to Colin Thorne's phonecall we arrived to find the birds with a family party of Starlings right beside the Bill carpark; instead of grossing out on them we stupidly faffed about trying to phone out the news from a spot with a notoriously dodgy reception and on looking up saw the Rosys suddenly get up and fly off into the distance © Martin Cade: 
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Sightings - Sunday 27th May 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 22:09
Little Gull - 1 Stanpit Marsh.
Yellow Wagtail - 1 Stanpit Marsh (Ashy-headed. M. f. cinereocapilla)
Rose-coloured Starling - 2 Portland Bill.

Greenfinch – Hengistbury Head © David Wareham. 
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27 May 18

Martin Adlam - Sun, 05/27/2018 - 18:21
Rufus Castle and Church Ope Cove

I spent an afternoon with 2 of my daughters and granddaughters on Church Ope Cove. It was boiling, but every now and then a bank of "sea cloud" passed over just to take the heat off.

Lots of bugs and things in amongst the rocks and a few on the plants at the back of the beach by the huts. We had Kelp Flies (Coelopa vanduzeei), Red Mites (Neomolgus littoralis), Sandhopper (Talitrus saltator), Swollen-thighed Beetles (Oedemera nobilis), a very small Bumblebee and an even smaller black bug about 3mm long.

Below are a few images from this afternoon and click Here for a selection my 5 year old granddaughter Holly took on the beach and in my back garden. She certainly has an eye for a photo.

Holly practices her skimming skills with mum watching on......
........whilst Lottie is collecting coloured stones with her Auntie.
Some of the stones also had some colourful seaweed attached.
Beautiful colours.
The empty shell casing of a Spider Crab.
This is small, very small and one to ID.
Also on the rocks and pebbles hundreds of Red Mites (Neomolgus littoralis).
On the remains of a Spider Crab, dozens of Kelp Flies, Coelopa vanduzeei are having a feast.
A Sandhopper, Talitrus saltator
This very tiny Bumblebee was by Rufus Castle
Another view.
A few Wall Lizards out today.
A male Swollen-thighed Beetle, Oedemera nobilis.............
..........and another.
Always a delight to see a Wall Brown.
Out and about

A quick trip into Chickerell this morning and en route a Coal Tit in the grounds of All Saints C of E Church, Wyke Regis Here. On the way back at Ferrybridge there were 8 Bar-tailed Godwits on the shore-line.

Bar-tailed Godwits at Ferrybridge this morning.
Bar-tailed Godwits
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