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Sightings - Wednesday 3rd October 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 23:14
Velvet Scoter - 4 Durlston flew west
Wigeon - 381 Holes Bay
Cormorant - 200+ - Lytchett Bay
Black-necked Grebe - 1 Bowleaze Cove
Great White Egret - 2 Lodmoor
Bittern - 1 Lodmoor
Spoonbill - 3 Arne
Marsh Harrier - 1 Stanpit, 1 Lodmoor
Hobby - 1 Lodmoor
Avocet - 150+ Arne
Grey Phalarope - 1 Lodmoor
Spotted Redshank - 2 Arne
Curlew Sandpiper - 1 Arne
Ruff - 1 Lodmoor
Knot - 1 Holes Bay
Yellow-legged Gull - 1 Stanpit, 4 Lytchett Bay
Short-eared Owl - 1 Lodmoor flew east
Hoopoe - 1 Portland from edge of Moorfield Road, Easton
alba Wagtail - 650 roosting at Lytchett Bay
Yellow Wagtail - 1 Stanpit
Whinchat - 1 Stanpit
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1 unconfirmed Durlston
Firecrest - 1 Lytchett Heath
Redpoll - 4 Hengistbury Head
Hawfinch - 1 Durlston
Great White Egret, Lodmoor, copyright Clive and Rosemary HargreavesHoopoe, Portland, copyright Roger HewittRinged Plovers and Dunlin at Hengistbury Head,copyright David Wareham 
Ruff, Lodmoor , Clive and Rosemary Hargreaves








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3rd October

Portland Bird Observatory - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 21:26
Another October scorcher saw little in the way of rare migrants but large numbers of common passage birds kept everyone counting through the morning. A minimum tally of 450 Meadow Pipits were matched for the first time this autumn by passing Alba Wagtails. Chaffinch, Siskin and Reed Buntings continued in numbers and the first signs of thrush passage began with an increase in Blackbird numbers in the top fields. The highlight of the day came from the return of the Hoopoe to the horse paddocks in Easton, whilst nearby there were 2 Firecrests at the Grove.
The Hoopoe seems to be enjoying the rich supply of invertebrates supplied in the horse grazed paddocks, occasionally disappearing when the local Kestrels start harassing it © Roger Hewitt: 

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22 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Twenty Four: At Sea From St Helena To Ascension Island (Day 2)

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 18:00
The second full day at sea on the approach to Ascension Island was another hot day at sea. There were a few Seabirds species, but all were in low numbers except for Sooty Terns, as we were still in very deep water & over 200 nautical miles from Ascension Island at dawn.
Bulwer's PetrelBulwer's PetrelBulwer's PetrelBulwer's Petrel
Cory's Shearwater: This is the borealis subspecies
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: This is one of a group of two Storm-petrels seen in the afternoon. We were around 150 nautical miles from Ascension Island. While this is the nearest breeding site, it not certain that they are from the Ascension Island population
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: Both of the Band-rumped Storm-petrels
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: Another photo of the two individuals
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: Another photo of the two individuals
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: One of the two individuals
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: One of the two individuals
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: Later in the afternoon, we encountered this Band-rumped Storm-petrel which is in heavy wing moult. As with some of the photos of Band-rumped Storm-petrels, they can at times show a slightly forked tail
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: Another view of the last individual
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: A final view of the last individual
White-tailed Tropicbird: This was our first White-tailed Tropicbird of the trip
White-tailed Tropicbird: This is the ascensionis subspecies which occurs on Fernando de Noronha and Ascension Island
Sooty Tern: This was the only species we saw a lot of during day. But perhaps not surprising as they are a pelagic Tern & there are around a half million breeding pairs on Ascension Island
Sooty Tern
Sooty Tern
Sooty Tern
Sooty TernIn the late afternoon, we encountered our first Ascension Frigatebirds. The first ones were probably around a mile from the Plancius & even the closer ones, were quite distant. But it was good to see the first Ascension Frigatebirds even though we all expected to see large numbers while we were at Ascension Island. I have now seen all five species of Frigatebirds.
Ascension Frigatebird: A record shot of two individuals chasing a Sooty TernGiven the water temperature was 28 degrees then it is no surprise that we saw good numbers of Flying Fish. Although nearly all were Small Clearwings, there were also the larger Atlantic Flying Fish & a few Four-winged Flying Fish.
Atlantic Flying Fish: I saw around 25 of these during the dayAtlantic Flying Fish: Another individualSmall Clearwing: This was easily the commonest Flying Fish & I saw around 500 during the daySmall Clearwing: They associate in shoals & when we disturbed a shoal around 30 - 50 would fly out of the sea for a single short glide
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3 Oct 18

Martin Adlam - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 13:24
Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

Just the 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Robins and a Blue Tit in the Lane Here.

Most of the action was in the lower Horse paddock Here, where there were 80+ Meadow Pipits, just the 1 Stonechat, 1 Blackcap in the brambles and a Wheatear. Also about were a dozen or so Starlings in winter plumage and a small flock of 7 Linnets heading south.

Here are a few images and a video from this morning.

The lower Paddocks just north of Bumpers Lane
In the northeast corner 80+ Meadow Pipit and a Wheatear.
One of the Stonechats still here......
.......at the top of Moorfield Road.
Along the fence line a Meadow Pipit............
.........with others feeding on insects in amongst the horses dung.........
.......and grasses.
A Chiffchaff on its way south.......
.....via a bramble.
Two Starlings now taking on their winter colours.
A Wheatear was in amongst the Meadow Pipits.
Looks in good condition as well.
Which it will need for its long journey south.
Its been a good few days in the horse paddocks with Wryneck, Hoopoe, turtle Dove and now a Wheatear.
I suspect a garden plant.
I did wonder Jasmine, but these flowers were completely scentless.
Birds Recorded this morning: Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 80+ Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, 1 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, Blackbird, 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 7 Linnet and Goldfinch.

Butterflies recorded: 1 Red Admiral and 2 Large White.
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Sightings - Tuesday 2nd October 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 22:10
Common Scoter - 7 Studland Bay.
Great White Egret - 2 possibly 3 Lodmoor RSPB.
Red Kite - 1 Arne Moors RSPB.
Marsh Harrier - 2 Lodmoor RSPB, 2 Stanpit Marsh.
Hobby - 1 Lodmoor RSPB.
Ruff - 1 Lodmoor RSPB.
Grey Phalarope - 1 Lodmoor RSPB.
Yellow-legged Gull - 2 1CY and 1 2CY Portland Bill.

Dunlin – Hengistbury Head © Clinton Whale.   
Sanderling – Hengistbury Head © Clinton Whale.
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2nd October

Portland Bird Observatory - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 18:57
A brisk and cloudy morning soon evaporated into somewhat of a stunner where weather was concerned. Avian highlights included the second Cetti's Warbler of the autumn trapped in Culverwell, 36 Brent Geese East past the Bill and a Merlin in the top fields. Otherwise, the movement that has brought Hoopoe and Wryneck to our shores in recent days seems to have slowed up and only a handful of other commoner migrants were recorded throughout the day. 
 Keith's regular checking of the local gull flock has paid off handsomely in recent weeks and today saw a grand total of three Yellow-legged Gulls including this smart second calendar year bird ©Keith Pritchard:


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2 Oct 18

Martin Adlam - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 14:17
Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

The past few days have seen, Wryneck, Hoopoe and Turtle Dove (yesterday) in and around the paddocks. Sadly no "unusual" birds today, but 2 Goldcrests at the the top of Moorfield Road were my first of this species this Autumn.

Other birds of interest were 33 Meadow Pipits in the bottom paddock, with one very light individual, which stood out against the olive-green of the other birds around it, a Blackcap in the lane and a Chiffchaff in the scrubland to the north of the top Paddock.

Here are a few images from this morning:

The bottom paddock
Looking south
Stonechat
Stonechat
Stonechat
Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Something has caught the eye of this Kestrel.
Hornet Mimic Hoverfly
This is Pampas Grass, Cortaderia selloana..........
.....an ornamental plant that has been growing wild since the 1920's. More on this grass here.
Birds Recorded were: 1 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 6 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 33 Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Stonechat, Blackbird, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

Also recorded: 1 Large White, 3 Speckled Woods and a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)
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Sightings - Monday 1st October 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 22:14
Great White Egret - 2 Lodmoor RSPB.
Golden Plover - 1 St. Aldhelm's Head.
Ruff - 1 Lodmoor RSPB.
Curlew Sandpiper - 1 Stanpit Marsh.
Grey Phalarope - 1 Lodmoor RSPB.
Lesser Yellowlegs - 1 Lodmoor RSPB.
Hoopoe - 1 Portland.
Skylark - 65+ St. Aldhelm's Head.
Woodlark - 5 Rempstone Heath.
Wheatear - 6 Stanpit Marsh, 1 St. Aldhelm's Head.
Redwing - 1 over Lodmoor RSPB.

Black-tailed Godwit – Hengistbury Head © Clinton Whale. 
Osprey – Rodden Hive © Elizabeth Thomas.
Lesser Yellowlegs – Lodmoor RSPB © David Wareham.
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1st October

Portland Bird Observatory - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 22:12
A fair spread of birds again today with a Hoopoe in the Moorfield Road horse paddocks stealing the show rarity-wise; yesterday's Turtle Dove was still at the Bill, with a second individual also dropping in at Moorfield Road, whilst among the less regulars there were 3 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Merlins and singles of Mallard, Golden Plover, Yellow-legged Gull and Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Bill and at least 1 more Great Spotted Woodpecker at Easton. The slight improvement in common migrant numbers detected yesterday was maintained, with both Blackcap and Chiffchaff around the 40 mark at the Bill.

Overnight immigrant moth interest included another Radford's Flame Shoulder at the Obs (the third there in recent nights) and the year's first Vestal at the Grove.

Searches for yesterday's Wryneck drew a blank on that front but did turn up this Hoopoe in an adjacent horse paddock:  


Linnet numbers are beginning to build and with any luck good-sized flocks should become a familiar sight around the island for the next few weeks; this group were some of the 100 in the Crown Estate Field and another 300 or more were knocking about around Helen's Fields:

It's been a good year for seeing Bottle-nosed Dolphins off the Bill: the crew of this plush yacht were treated to what must have been great views of today's party bow-riding alongside the vessel as it headed along East Cliffs this morning:

It's fortunate that Vestals have a highly characteristic jizz as last night's first for the year was somewhat scale-deficient:


Come the totting up for the year we'd be surprised if it isn't by far the best season ever for Gold Spot at Portland; the first for the year just sneaked in at the end of May so a single at the Grove last night was not only the first for several weeks but also ensured that we have records from six months of this year photos and video © Martin Cade:

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25 Sep 18 - The UK Wildlife Sighting Of The Year

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 18:00
It had been a fairly quiet morning visit to St Aldhelms, an old patch that I'm spending a lot of time at this Autumn following last year's Two-barred Greenish Warbler. There were only a few migrants with singles of Wheatear & Whinchat, along with a scattering of Chiffchaffs & Blackcaps. A lone Golden Plover flew over calling as I was about to leave.
Golden Plover: This Golden Plover flying South was the highlight of a quiet morning at St AldhelmsI had just got back home & was enjoying a cuppa of tea, whilst adding my sightings to my Birding database. When I finished that, I checked RBA & saw a message of a Beluga Whale in the Thames from Coalhouse Fort on the Essex shoreline: a message that was equally incredible & unlikely. A quick look on twitter found a shaky video of a Beluga Whale surfacing several times. I didn't know the finder, Dave Andrews (@ipterodroma), but he seemed to be a serious Birder & naturalist, rather than a hoaxer. Sadly, there are strange individuals who seem to get a kick out of posting hoaxes e.g. a recent claim of a potential ringtail Harrier in Dorset, with a photo attached of one of the recent claimed Pallid Harriers from Norfolk. Fortunately, I was away at the time & didn't waste time looking for that hoax.
Beluga Whale:A shot of the head & the front half of the bodyAnyway, back to the Beluga Whale. By this time, people were already responding to the original tweet. Some comments were genuine & congratulatory or checking directions. But there was also the sort of crap I would have expected from Birdforum querying the identification e.g. it being a hybrid (but no suggestion of what kind of hybrid it was) & also it was an albino Minke Whale. I have no problem with people querying the identification, but if you are going to do that it's better to ensure you know what you are talking about first, in case it dissuades other people who think you know what you are talking about. Although the video was shaky & not close, it could be see blowing briefly as it surfaced: therefore, it was surfacing normally & all the visible body was white. Additionally, there was no visible dorsal fin. The colouration & more importantly the lack of a visible dorsal fin pretty much rules out any of the other North Atlantic Cetaceans. Seeing it blowing mean it wasn't showing a paler underside as it surfaced. The The only other potential Cetacean without a dorsal fin would be a Narwhal, but the colouration was ruling that out. Therefore, it was clearly a Beluga Whale & off Essex. I decided I was going to be leaving soon, but I had time to made some lunch while I was waiting for an update to confirm it was still showing. By the time I had finished my lunch, there had been an update to confirm it was still showing & even better, the directions looked like it would be visible just to the East of Gravesend & from the Kent shoreline. This would knock thirty minutes time of my journey & also reduce the walk once I got there. The only thing left was to phone a couple of mates who might also be interested in looking for it. They weren't interested in heading off. One was Marcus Lawson, who knew the finder & added the final confirmation that he was a sound observer. It was time to head off to Kent about thirty minutes after seeing the initial messages. It was a straight-forward journey, although the Sat Nat failed me & reported I was there despite being in the wrong location. A quick check on the mobile gave me another road to try & that time the Sat Nat got the right location. Fortunately, it was only a 1/4 mile walk along the riverbank before I reached the first group of observers.
Beluga Whale: A slightly better view of the front half of the bodyWithin about five minutes, it surfaced, blew briefly & dipped down again. After resurfacing a few times, it dived deeper & was gone for another five minutes. These seemed to be the pattern of it surfacing every five minutes or so, with around five or six brief appearances, before diving deeply again. It probably didn't move about twenty or thirty metres from where I first saw it over the next two hours. It was diving frequently & hopefully it was finding food during its dives. Apparently, it had been on the Kent side of the river about an hour earlier, but was now appearing on the Essex side of the deep-water channel. Therefore, it was probably 3/4 of the way across the river. There wasn't anything I could do about that. It would have been a slow journey back to the Dartford river crossing & back East to the far bank & a longer walk. Given the traffic it would have been well over an hour before I was on the opposite shoreline. While it would have been closer, the light would also have been a lot worse by the time I got there. Given my dislike for Essex having been born & brought up in Kent, then I wasn't heading to the wrong side of the river.
Beluga Whale: Again, no view of any dorsal fin & when properly exposed the colouration appeared pale greyish white, rather than white: which would suggest it was an immature Beluga Whale There have been just under twenty previous records in the UK with the most recent sighting being a few years ago of two off the North East English coast. This is the most Southerly UK record. At the time of writing this Post on 1 Oct 18, the Beluga Whale has been present in the same area of the River Thames for a week & still appears to be feeding OK. Looking at the Marine Mammals of the World Edition II, Beluga Whales have a varied diet of Fish, Squid, Octopus, Shrimps & Crabs. They often occur in estuaries when the water depth can be only a few metres deep, although they also can dive up to 300 metres deep. If it is able to find enough food, then it might be able to survive for some time in the River Thames, but it is worrying that it is feeding in a busy deep-water channel. In the two hours I was there, two large ships passed close to where it was feeding. I can't believe that noise will be good for it.
Beluga Whale: There was no sign of a dorsal fin, thus ruling out all the other potential Cetacean species in the North Atlantic, other than a female Narwhal which can be ruled out on colouration & sizeThis surprise Cetacean is my 40th species seen, out of a total of 90 species. It is my 30th species that I have seen this year. I really can't see how any Bird turning up in the UK will top this Beluga Whale, unless it self-found Pallas's Sandgrouse at St Aldhelms late this autumn. I had been thinking of signing up to rejoin the Plancius for a trip to Spitsbergen this Summer, but decided against it on cost grounds & to allow me the time to investigation the best time of year for a trip. Beluga Whales would have been one of the targets for that trip. I will still be going to Spitsbergen at some point in the future as it does look to be a great trip.
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1 Oct 18

Martin Adlam - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 13:30
Wakeham

I was up fairly early this morning to see if anything had dropped in along Broadcroft Quarry Lane and around the horse paddocks. The Wryneck has definitely moved on but a Blackcap was a new arrival. The 2 Stonechats are still in the field here and were joined by several Meadow Pipits and 20+ Starlings.

Other birds noted were 4 Pied Wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail and several Robins, with the latter singing from their "winter" patches I guess.

However all was not lost, as a Hoopoe turned up late morning in the same area the Wryneck was spotted yesterday. Fortunately I was about to see it and after a good recce, a dog walker put it up Here and it landed on the roof of a bungalow Here before dropping down into a lucky neighbours garden.

As I made my way back home across the paddock a Clouded Yellow flew past me.

Here are a few images from this today:

I might have dipped on yesterdays Wryneck.......
......but amazingly this Hoopoe pitched up in the same area.

This Hoopoe dropped into the same area the Wryneck had visited yesterday. Unfortunately a dog walker got a bit close and it landed on this bungalow roof before dropping down into a neighbours garden.
One of the "winter" Robins in the local area.
Autumn is here as the leaves on this Field Maple start to change colour.
A few of the Field Maple leaves which are still green. Not for much longer I'm sure/
For some reason the building work has stopped at Bumpers Lane. However talking to the Site Manager, that's not the case. The reason it's quieter, is because the pile drivers, which have been hammering away for a few months now, have done their work. Though they will be back sometime in the future for an area to the north of the site.

Ships Today
This the Crude Oil Tanker "New Prime" flying the flag of Hong Kong. It is on its way from Rotterdam, Holland to the port of Jose Terminal, Venezuala and should arrive there on 16 Oct 18. More on this vessel Here.
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"Simon Says" - Act now for Wildlife

Dorset Wildlife Trust - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 13:09

BLOG: Find out why our Chief Executive Dr Simon Cripps says: "In my 30+ years of working with environmental issues, I don’t think I have seen before so many stars aligning in such a potentially good way."

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30th September

Portland Bird Observatory - Sun, 09/30/2018 - 23:34
Hardly a day to remember but there were encouraging hints of passage picking up just a little, most notably in the form a decent spread of Chiffchaffs just about everywhere. A Wryneck at Easton was as good as it got in the scarcity line although in this day and age a Turtle Dove at the Bill was of almost the same status. The Chiffchaff tally at the Bill reached a good 50, with plenty more in most areas of cover around the centre of the island; at least new Great Spotted Woodpeckers pitched in at the Bill but, bar the now ubiquitous flocks of off-passage Meadow Pipits, there were no other notable concentrations of grounded migrants. Visible passage of Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches and Siskins got off to a good start in the clear skies after dawn but fizzled out as soon as thick cloud rolled in from the north before mid-morning.

Although we're always quick to deride the national news services for putting out reports of the likes of single Black Redstarts and Firecrests from southern coastal headlands - since when have they been even faintly unexpected migrants anywhere other than at places that don't get any birds anyway? - we can certainly understand why every migrant Turtle Dove is now being reported. The writer of these notes dipped this one and still hasn't seen one at Portland this year - his memories of flushing flocks of 50 in Top Fields when he was a kid are also getting hazier by the year © Roger Hewitt: 

Considering the dearth of grounded migrants generally, Spotted Flycatchers have been surprisingly conspicuous at the Obs, albeit only in low numbers; this one was there a couple of days go © Dave Sawyer: 
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Sightings - Sunday 30th September 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Sun, 09/30/2018 - 21:27
Cattle Egret - 2 Priory Marsh.
Great White Egret - 2 Coward's Marsh.
Marsh Harrier - 1 Holton Lee, 1 Priory Marsh.
Hobby - 2 Radipole Lake RSPB.
Avocet - 350 Middlebere.
Black-tailed Godwit - c700 Middlebere.
Curlew Sandpiper - 2 Christchurch Harbour.
Grey Phalarope - 1 Lodmoor RSPB.
Lesser Yellowlegs - 1 Lodmoor RSPB.
Wryneck - 1 Easton.
Skylark - 90 St. Aldhelm's Head.
Wheatear - 7 St. Aldhelm's Head, 2 Stanpit Marsh.

Little Grebe – Lodmoor RSPB © David Wareham.

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30 Sep 18

Martin Adlam - Sun, 09/30/2018 - 20:18
Wakeham

News filtered through that a Wryneck had been sighted in the horses paddock at the end of Moorfield Road Here. Unfortunately it was a good 2 hours before I could get back home to see it, and sadly it had moved on. The only other migrants here were 2 Stonechats, a Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaffs. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was close-by and other birds of interest were Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtails and several Meadows Pipits.

Sadly not a Wryneck but a Stonechat.
Here's another from behind and ............
.......front view.
Weymouth Way, West of Radipole Reserve

As I was driving north up Weymouth Way Here at around 1:30pm a Hobby flew over the road from Radipole Reserve and attempted to catch a Red Admiral just above the car.

RSPB Lodmoor

Its been awhile since I've been to Lodmoor Reserve and with some good birds being reported from there recently, I decided to give it a visit.

First highlight was a Roe Deer in a patch of hedgerow on the west side of the reserve. Certainly my first deer here in Weymouth. Soon after I watched 2 Great Egrets taking off from the reed beds to the north and then watching them land in the centre of the reserve.

A bit further around I came a group of birdwatchers who were looking into the pools, and as I arrived there was a Lesser Yellowlegs right in front of them. Next to it was "white" headed Ruff and about a dozen or so Black-tailed Godwit. Also here were Dunlin, Lapwing, Mediterranean Gulls, Teal and Gadwall.

Further around to the south I came across 2 Greenshanks in flight where there were also more Lapwings and Black-tailed Godwits. For most of the walk there were numerous flocks of Siskin flying overhead, plus a solitary Yellow Wagtail.

Here are a few images:

Here is the long-staying american wader........
.......the Lesser Yellowlegs. Not the first one I've seen, in fact this is my 3rd UK bird, my first was here many years ago and another at Port Meadow in Oxfordshire.


A long way from home, a Lesser Yellowlegs from North America.
This is my first Ruff............
....... for my Port and Wey Bird List.
A Black-tailed Godwit
Nothing like a good stretch.
One of the 2 Great White Egrets.
One of the two Great White Egrets here at Lodmoor today.
Always plenty of Mediterranean Gulls here at Lodmoor..........
.......... This one like many others is sporting a ring on its leg.
A Roe Deer foraging. Apparently there was also stag Sika seen earlier this morning just off the beach track Here.


This Roe Deer was foraging on the embankment.
Birds Recorded: Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, 2 Great White Egret, 4 Little Egret, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Dunlin, 1 Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Skylark, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 1 Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 1 Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 20+ Siskin, Goldfinch and Reed Bunting.
Also 1 Roe Deer
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29th September

Portland Bird Observatory - Sat, 09/29/2018 - 22:51
Plenty more gripes about the general dearth of migrants today: visible passage continued to tick over although was hardly spectacular but it was island-wide paucity of the likes of Chiffchaffs that drew the most comment. A Cattle Egret that arrived in off the sea at the Bill and continued rapidly northwards was a nice island rarity, whilst a small flurry of Firecrests - including 4 at Avalanche Road - was a welcome event. Stonechats are beginning to feature in some quantity, with 35 scattered between the Bill and Barleycrates Lane, but few if any of the other grounded totals were worthy of a mention. Most of the usual suspects were represented overhead but numbers were on the low side for a seemingly suitable clear day and single Hobbys over the Bill and Avalanche Road were the only oddities. Additionally, 2 Brent Geese and an Arctic Skua passed through off the Bill and 2 Knot were at Ferrybridge.
Another Radford's Flame Shoulder was the pick of the immigrant moths trapped overnight at the Obs.
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Sightings - Saturday 29th September 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Sat, 09/29/2018 - 21:28
Grey Partridge - 4 St. Aldhelm's Head.
Cattle Egret - 2 Stanpit Marsh.
Hen Harrier - 1 Butterstreet Cove.
Golden Plover - 1 over White Nothe.
Grey Phalarope - 1 Lodmoor RSPB.
Lesser Yellowlegs - 1 Lodmoor RSPB.
Fieldfare - 6+ near Kingston Lacey.
Firecrest - 4 Avalanche Road.
Lapland Bunting - 1 White Nothe.

Lesser Yellowlegs – Lodmoor RSPB © David Wareham.Stonechat – Stanpit Marsh © Clinton Whale. 
Ruff – Lodmoor RSPB © David Wareham.



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13 Sep 18 - A Lucky Encounter At Littlesea

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Sat, 09/29/2018 - 18:00
I recently went down to Littlesea to the look for the Purple Heron (which now looks like it has moved on as I've not seen it since 1 Sep on three subsequent visits to the Little Egret roost). Due to the limited visibility from the high hide these days due to vegetation that has built up over the years, then I view the Egret roost from next to the hide. I could hear people talking quietly in the high hide, but wasn't sure if they were birdwatchers or not. I decided to focus on the Little Egret roost & give them a shout if the Purple Heron arrived. The Little Egrets were arriving, but weren't settling down in the roost. This wouldn't be down to me as I'm over 100 metres from the roost. As the light dropped, suddenly two guys appeared in front of the hide & were as surprised to see me in the low light, as I was to see them. One guy disappeared to talk to his mates in the hide & the other, Nige, started chatting. It turned out they were part of a team working for the Nathusius' Pipistrelle Bat project & were around for one night of Bat trapping & ringing. Obviously, this was fully approved & licenced by Natural England, the Nathusius' Pipistrelle Bat project & with approval from the National Trust & they were all accredited to handle Bats. Other members of the project were out at Radipole that evening. They had been setting up a couple of their specialist Bat traps at the water's edge which is why the Little Egrets were unsettled. Although they didn't have visibility of the roost, the Egrets could presumably hear them as they moved around in the lakeside trees & bushes. Anyway, they didn't seem to have had any lasting impact on the Little Egrets. There was a no show by the Purple Heron, but think that was down to it having moved on. As the last of the Little Egrets were arriving I carried on chatting to Nige, who as well as being into Bats, was a Birder from the Blagdon area near Bristol. I asked if it would be alright to hang around & was told that would be OK. It was getting dark so we joined the other three in the hide. At regular intervals in the evening, one or two members of the team walked down to check the two Bat traps & bring back their catches in bags. All the Bats that came up to the high hide were identified, measured & weighed & the Nathusius' Pipistrelle Bats were also ringed. I was told it was OK to take a few photos with the Iphone (using the light of their torches).
Soprano Pipistrelle Bat: The photo isn't great, but I didn't want to do more than grab some quick photos. Albeit the time taken to get the photo was short, compared to the time the Bats were being identified, aged & sexed, measured & weighedCommon Pipistrelle BatI have a reasonable knowledge of how to identify the UK mammals, except for Bats. I haven't ever got around to getting a Bat detector due to their expense & not got as far as finding a mate who knows a lot about Bats to get me started on the basic identification features of Bats. To date, it's been one of those things to do in the future when I've got the time & opportunity. As a result, my UK Bat List was limited to Brown Long-eared Bat (having trapped one pre-dawn in my pre university ringing days in Kent), Greater Horseshoe Bat (at a private Purbeck site I was allowed to visit) & Noctule Bat (pointed out by Richard Webb at Middlebere). I learnt as much about UK Bats that evening as I had learnt in all the years I've been Birding. When I started Birding, my mates always said the small Bats you saw at dusk were Pipistrelle Bats as that was the small common Bat. Those statements were never good enough to me to add them to my Mammal List as I didn't know how to separate them from any of the scarcer small Bats. Then a few years ago, I discovered that Pipistrelle Bats were actually two species: Common Pipistrelle Bat & Soprano Pipistrelle Bat. They were both common & widespread across the UK & in similar habitats. They could be separated based on their calls as Common Pipistrelle Bat echo locate at 45 kHz & the Soprano Pipistrelle Bat at 55 kHz. But that isn't much use without a Bat detector & still doesn't help me separate them from the other small less common Bats. I also discovered at the same time, there was a third species, Nathusius' Pipistrelle Bat, which is a scarce visitor to the UK from Eastern Europe. Presumably, the extreme wing of the Tory Party will want to stop them arriving in the near future, so that will reduce the identification problems post Brexit. One of the Nathusius' Pipistrelle Bat project's goals in to help understand the arrival & movements of this species in the UK & Europe.
Nathusius' Pipistrelle Bat: It is believed that Nathusius' Pipistrelle Bats arrive in the autumn from Eastern Europe & then disperse in Southern England. They are still scarce species compared to the two common UK speciesNathusius' Pipistrelle Bat: The ring goes on the forewing & thus is a C shape, rather than a closed ring as with Bird ringsThe identification of the three Pipistrelle Bat species in the hand looked tricky compared to most Bird & Macro Moth identification & I won't go into the identification features as my photos don't show the features anyway. Ageing & sexing was slightly easier. In the end, the group trapped three Nathusius' Pipistrelle Bats, three Common Pipistrelle Bats (although the first wasn't brought up to the hide) & one Soprano Pipistrelle Bat. They also trapped a Whiskered Bat. They were disappointed in the numbers caught, but I was really pleased to be allowed to hang around & learn a lot more than I knew about Bats. However, I wasn't too worried when the decided around 02:00 to knock it on the head. I had only popped out to count the Little Egret roost & had expected to be back soon after dusk. The skies had cleared a couple of hours ago & the temperature plummeted, so perhaps that hadn't helped Bat activity.
Whiskered Bat: This was the final Bat caught that evening. Slightly larger in the hand than the three Pipistrelle Bats & with a paler breast
Whiskered Bat: While I could see it wasn't one of the Pipistrelle Bat species, separation from the very similar Brandt' Bat that might also occur at Studland seemed even harder & included a detailed check of the teeth shapeMy thanks to Nige & the other three lads for letting me stay & watch them. It had been a great evening.
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29 Sep 18

Martin Adlam - Sat, 09/29/2018 - 16:11
Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Broadcroft Quarry Pools, Bumpers Lane and Mermaid Track

Not quite sure what's going on with the building site in Bumpers Lane, but it was eerily quiet all day yesterday and also this morning, when normally there would be some working going on. A great opportunity then to walk up Broadcroft Quarry Lane in the peace and quiet.

Its that time of year when the warblers head down towards The Bill, with many stopping off along the lane here. This afternoon there were 3 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap here, plus Blue Tits, Great Tits and 2 Robins. Not a bad start and in the adjacent horse field there were 2 Stonechats, a Meadow Pipit and a Pied Wagtail.

Where the mound is on the corner of Bumpers Lane and Broadcroft Quarry Lane, there was a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Up by the pools there was another Blackcap and Chiffchaff, plus 2 Palmate Newts. The latter "slithering" through the grass and disappearing at speed into the undergrowth.

On the South-west Coast path, above The Cuttings, a Clouded Yellow was flitting about, but didn't stop for a photo. I did attempt a shot as you will see below. Hmm.

Also by The Cuttings the Ivy Bee Colonies are doing well and it looks like there is another colony just started up.

Here are a few images from today:

The horse field to the right and the "abandoned" building site on the left of the re-routed footpath.
A Stonechat
A Meadow Pipit in the grass
Broadcroft Quarry Lane where hopefully there will be some good birds to see this Autumn.
Today there was this Chiffchaff............
..........feeding in the Sycamore.
In a Sallow a male Blackcap. You can just make him out.
In the pool area apart from the 2 Palmate Newts there were 3 Silver-Y's.
Over The Cuttings a Kestrel hovers.
Lots of grasshoppers and voles along this stretch to feed on.
The Clouded yellow flew past and I just pointed the camera and fired off a dozen shots. Moving on!!
One of the many grasshoppers the Kestrels enjoy eating.
One of the Ivy Bee colonies.
And another.
Birds Recorded: 2 Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Dunnock, Robin, 2 Stonechat, 3 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Butterflies recorded: 1 Clouded Yellow, 2 Red Admiral, 3 Large White, 2 Small White.

Also recorded: Ivy Bees and 2 Palmate Newts

Wakeham

In the back garden a Hummingbird Hawk-moth was on the Valerian, but didn't stay long. Here are a few shots.





Ships Today
This is the Korean Vehicles Carrier "Glovis Chorus" on its way from Dakar, Senegal to Bremerhaven, Germany. More on this vessel Here.
The large ship is the Maltese Ro-Ro Cargo vessel "Celine" on its way from Zeebrugge, Belgian to Dublin, Ireland. More on this vessel Here. The smaller vessel is the Dutch General cargo vessel "Sagasbank" on its way from Kiel, Germany to New Ross, Ireland. More on this vessel Here.
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Sightings - Friday 28th September 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Fri, 09/28/2018 - 22:39
Cattle Egret - 1 AbbotsburyGreat White Egret - 1 Holes Bay, 1 Lytchett Bay, 1 Lodmoor RSPBOsprey - 1 Abbotsbury, 1 Radipole RSPBMerlin - 1  St.Aldhelm's HeadHobby - 1 Radipole RSPBGolden Plover - 2 over St.Aldhelm's HeadGrey Phalarope -  1 Lodmoor RSPBGreen Sandpiper - 2 Lytchett Fields RSPBSpotted Redshank - 1 Lytchett Fields RSPBLesser Yellowlegs - 1 still at Lodmoor RSPBWhinchat - 2 Abbotsbury SwanneryCommon Rosefinch - 1 trapped at Portland Bill Curlew at Stanpit © Clinton Whale Wheatear at Stanpit © Clinton WhaleLesser Yellowlegs at Lodmoor RSPB © Janice Grove 
Greenshank and Lesser Yellowlegs at Lodmoor RSPB © Janice Grove Grey Phalarope © Paul Dibben 
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