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Sightings - Saturday 24th November 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 21:08
Scaup - 6 Abbotsbury Swannery
Ring-necked Duck - 1 Radipole Lake RSPB
Cattle Egret - 20+ Abbotsbury Swannery, 6+ Wareham Causeway (Stoborough end), 2 East Holme
Spoonbill - 1 Brownsea Island lagoon
Hen Harrier - 1 ringtail Abbotsbury Swannery
Merlin - 1 Ferrybridge
Lesser Yellowlegs - 1 Lodmoor RSPB
Little Gull - 1 Portland Harbour
Short-eared Owl - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Black Redstart - 1 Sandbanks
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24 Nov 18

Martin Adlam - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 16:27

Having picked up my new camera from Curry's it was off to Radipole Lake up by the Tennis Courts Here. Unfortunately the new camera needs a full charge, so old faithful was used. The light conditions, once again, were horrendous and as I got out of the car, so the drizzle came down.

The Ring-necked Duck was easy to pick up as it kept close to one of feeding Mute Swans. In fact a couple of times it dived under the swan. Also here were Tufted Ducks, Shoveler and at least 7 Pochard.

Here are a few poor quality images again I'm afraid.


The feeders were really busy again today with the normal suspects of Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Great Tit and Blue Tit. Locally there were a few Blackbirds, a Robin and overhead a Siskin was heard calling.

Greenfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit and House Sparrow

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

23rd November

Portland Bird Observatory - Fri, 11/23/2018 - 22:03
A day of mixed feelings with as many birds giving us the slip as were clinched. The first bird of the morning proved to be the highlight as a Serin left the garden roost with the usual Goldfinches. This set the tone for a very 'finchy' day with a total of seven species including good numbers of Chaffinches, Goldfinches, and Linnets; plus small numbers of Greenfinches, Bramblings, a Siskin and the Serin. There was also a noticeable increase in House Sparrows with multiple flocks making the island total in the triple figures. Other passerines trickled through including double figures of Redwings and a couple of Song Thrushes. The real gut-wrencher came from a missed opportunity of a Richard's Pipit with two possible sightings never being fully confirmed. The sea was quiet with counts of just 4 Red-throated Divers, 3 Common Scoter and the first 3 returning Fulmars since their late summer departure. Elsewhere on the island, Ferrybridge produced 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a Merlin (presumably a loitering individual following the pipits and larks).

So often a straightforward Portland banker, Serin had been surprise omission from the year list before today - sadly, our photographic efforts were sufficiently inept that it'd take a combination of half-a-dozen frames to be able to see the whole bird © Martin Cade:
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Reports of interest, Friday 23rd November 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Fri, 11/23/2018 - 21:37
Whooper Swan - 1 Hampreston.
Egyptian Goose - 2 Holme Lane gravel pit.
Eider - 1 inside Christchurch Harbour.
Red-Throated Diver - 1 Hengistbury.
Great White Egret - 2 Longham Lakes.
Cattle Egret - 3 Fiddleford, 17 Holme Lane.
Marsh Harrier - 3 Christchurch Harbour, 2 Lytchett Bay RSPB.
Grey Plover - 12 Stanpit.
Jack Snipe - 1 Stanpit.
Ruff - 1 Stanpit.
Spotted Redshank - 1 Stanpit.
Green Sandpiper - 3 Lytchett Bay RSPB.
Yellow-Legged Gull - 1 Lytchett Bay RSPB.
Woodlark - 10+ Knighton Heath.
Black Redstart - 1 Studland.
SERIN - 1 Portland Bill.
Brambling - 1 Hengistbury Head.

Late news - a female Blackbird retrapped at Longham Lakes on Thursday was originally ringed in August 2011.
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23 Nov 18

Martin Adlam - Fri, 11/23/2018 - 17:05

Another busy day on the boat and the good news is the radio now works. Apparently there was water in the cable of the old aerial which had to be replaced. I also managed to get the Garmin Fishfinder to work, which is good news, as it also gives you the depth under the boat. The transducer which is normally attached under the boat was actually next to the bilge pump and had broken away. So a bit of a clean up and reattachment to the hull and that also works now. Happy Days. Unfortunately the bilge pump and sensor I had fitted by a local marine engineer company, doesn't work and there is a huge amount water at the bow end of the boat. So hopefully they'll be out on Monday to fix it.

So the bird watching today was centred around the back garden with good numbers of birds on the feeders, which included Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Chaffinches, House Sparrows, Great Tits and Blue Tits. On the lawn was a Dunnock, Robin and 2 Blackbirds. In the neighbours garden were 2 Redwing and a Song Thrush.

Not wanting to miss out, the Grey Squirrel was back.

Here are a few images from today with an apology about the poor quality. I'm still using my back up camera which is really naff in low-light conditions, but the good news is I pick up my new one tomorrow.

This Grey Squirrel was quite clever. Once he turned round to stop the blood rushing to his head and ran up the feeder over the top and then came down........

.........on this one before going back to the other one. Ingenious.
Once the Squirrel had his fill, the birds came back. Here are two male birds, Chaffinch on the left and a Great Tit.

Here are two Great Tits and a Greenfinch.
And finally 3 Greenfinches with a male House Sparrow.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2017
Today's Sightings Here
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

Blog Post: November 2018 RSPB Radipole Lake Update

RSPB Weymouth Wetlands - Fri, 11/23/2018 - 12:28
Welcome to the new look blog and community pages. Apologies that it has been a while since our last blog. A few notable birds have been around on both reserves since the last update. Ruff, Lesser Yellowlegs and a Grey Phalarope were regularly on Lodmoor at the beginning of October. The Lesser Yellowlegs is still a frequent visitor and may well over winter in the area. An Osprey was seen over Radipole Lake and Lodmoor on 5 th and 7 th October. Wildfowl and wader numbers are increasing as the autumn progresses with 30 Wigeon counted on 11 th October and 17 Snipe observed on Lodmoor on 19 th October. Over 100 Lapwings gathered at Lodmoor on 24 th October along with a Cattle Egret and a Bittern sighted briefly. On 30 th October over 40 Black Tailed Godwits were counted. Photo Credits : Edmund Mackrill, RSPB Weymouth Wetlands Volunteer Among noteworthy garden birds, a Ringed Ouzel and a Redwing were seen at the North End of Radipole on 28 th and 2 Mistle Thrushes on Lodmoor on 29 th October. Also some notable bird events over the past month. An eruption of Bearded Tits took place at Radipole Lake on 9 th October with over 45 individuals counted. On 1 st and 6 th November starling murmurations took place, with c1000 birds. A Peregrine was also seen on 1 st . On 2 nd a group of 3 Scaup were observed and again the next day along with 2 Avocets and a Cattle Egret. Great White Egrets are still around and regularly seen on both reserves. Fab shot by Edmund Mackrill. A Ring Neck Duck arrived on Lodmoor on 21 st October. Observations of the Ring Neck Duck have been regularly seen At Radipole lake over the past couple of months, the duck may well over winter here. On 12th November a Franklin's Gull was seen in the Radipole Lake car park. The gull was regularly observed until 14th November. Photo Credits: John Wall Very mild for the time of year causing some confusion for the plants around the reserves. Though the trees are turning shades of gold, the two Bay Trees at Radipole Lake are currently in bud. Normally Bay flowers in March/April so this is exceptionally early. Hogweed, Wild Angelica and Wild Carrot are also producing new flowers, the plants themselves are shorter in height now than they would normally be in the summer months. New shoots of Cow Parsley alongside the footpaths are well up, normally their green shoots are first seen in December so this is well over a month early. The Work Party has been very busy recently over at Chafey’s Lake restoring the reed beds that have been neglected over the past few years. Much of the overgrown bramble has been taken out to allow the reed bed to start flourishing again over the coming year. Photo Credits : Dave Morphew, RSPB Radipole Lake Volunteer For more information and all the latest sightings, contact Radipole Lake Discovery Centre, details below or pop in and see us. Hot and cold refreshments and snacks available. Telephone : 01305 778313 Email : Website :
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Reports of interest, Thursday 22nd November 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Thu, 11/22/2018 - 23:10
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - 5 Ferrybridge.
Black Brant - 1 Ferrybridge.
Eider - 6 past Hengistbury Head.
Goosander - 1 Sturminster Marshall GPs.
Merlin - 1 Portland Bill.
Golden Plover - 1 Portland Bill.
Grey Plover - 1 Ferrybridge.
Woodcock - 1 Culverwell, 1 Winspit.
Swallow - 1 Ferndown.
Brambling - 1 Hengistbury Head.

Auk passage - 1000 birds/hour part Portland Bill.

Late news - Great White Egret reported from Sturminster Marshall GPs yesterday.

2nd-winter Common Gull at Longham Lakes © Mike Howson 
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22nd November

Portland Bird Observatory - Thu, 11/22/2018 - 01:20

A reminder that there's an In Focus field event at the Obs between 10am and 4pm this Saturday, 24th November.
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Reports of interest, Wednesday 21st November 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Wed, 11/21/2018 - 22:05
Red-Throated Diver - 1 Mudeford Quay, 1 Portland Harbour.
Great Northern Diver - 1 Portland Harbour.
Merlin - 1 Ferrybridge.
Golden Plover - 1 over Portland Harbour.
Black Redstart - 1 Ferrybridge.
Firecrest - 1 Hengistbury Head.   

Blackcap at Colehill © Brian Smith
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

21st November

Portland Bird Observatory - Wed, 11/21/2018 - 19:45
Swift, sharp showers interspersed with clear skies and a cool wind didn't quite drop the late rarity we were hoping for, but a good variety of species across the recording area kept the day interesting. The sea saw a big reduction in numbers with just 29 Common Scoter, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Wigeon and 2 Brent Geese. The highlight from the garden came from a French controlled Chiffchaff, a lone Siskin and a small influx of Robins.

Ferrybridge was back on form today with 1175 Brent Geese (plus 8 pale-bellied), 7 Little Grebes, a Goosander, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Curlew. 136 Dunlin, a lone Merlin and a Black Redstart.

Given its pedigree in conditions similar to those we have been experiencing over the last few day the harbour was a tad disappointing, although it still produced a good bird for Portland in the form of a Pochard plus: a fly-over Golden Plover, 2 Common Scoters, a Red-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver and several Black-necked Grebes.

As the numbers of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks have increased in the salt marsh at Ferrybridge it was inevitable that an opportunist would follow and, thankfully for us, it was this showy Merlin © Pete Saunders:

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21 Nov 18

Martin Adlam - Wed, 11/21/2018 - 18:20
Top Fields

Another horrendous day with shower after shower falling on Portland. There were even a number of thunderstorms in amongst the squally showers that passed overhead.

Eventually the main weather front passed over and there was an opportunity to get out for a walk. The light was fading quickly so the best place for any birding had to be the Top Fields, for possibly a Short-eared Owl.

Well I did see one very briefly at 4:10pm, when a single bird appeared above the West Cliffs just north of the Higher Lighthouse. One minute it was above the cliffs and then it was gone. I walked around the fields for another 35 minutes until the light really faded, but that was the only SEO about.

There were good numbers of Chaffinches in the Crown Estate Fields with a few Goldfinches for company. Also seen were 2 Ravens, 2 Kestrels, a Buzzard, 3 Meadow Pipits, a Skylark on the path which I nearly stood on, a pair of Stonechat and a Grey Heron heading north towards Southwell.

As I walked back to the Obs a Chiffchaff was heard calling and a large Bumblebee zoomed across in front of me as the daylight had almost gone.

Looking south towards the Bill, with the back end of the stormy weather drifting west.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2017
Today's Sightings Here
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

20th November

Portland Bird Observatory - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 22:21
Another day for the sea watchers with strong cold winds hampering the coverage of the land. The Bill produced a couple of nice highlights including 4 Velvet Scoters in amongst the 48 Common Scoters, 11 Eiders (of which 4 were stonking males), 3 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 12 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Red-throated Divers, and a male Red-breasted Merganser. A furtive Long-eared Owl roosting in the Obs garden was the highlight from the land; 3 new Goldcrests also showed up there, with further variety in the form of 7 Redwings, a Lapwing, 2 Redshanks, 4 Turnstones and a Brambling at the Bill and a Black Redstart at Reap Lane.

Ferrybridge saw a small increase in waders with 5 Curlew, a lone Lapwing, a pair of Bar-tailed Godwits and 22 Oystercatchers; one of the Black Brants also showed up there along with a Goosander, 3 Pale-bellied Brents and a large flock of 13 Shelducks.

We're well aware from previous experience that Long-eared Owls are past masters at escaping detection in the Obs garden and today's bird was only given away by the fuss it elicited from the local Magpies and Jackdaws once they'd discovered it. After a couple of fleeting flight views it was lost for several hours before we completely fluked it after peering into an umpteenth hole in a hedge and finding it staring right back at us at point blank range © Martin Cade:

We're not sure what the highest ever count of Shelducks at Ferrybridge has been but today's 13 must run it pretty close if it's any higher © Pete Saunders:

Record shots from the Obs lounge were the order of the day with the scarcer wildfowl - these Eider settled off East Cliffs were the second group of the day, whilst the Velvet Scoters passed by along with what proved to be the best movement of Common Scoters of the month to date © Martin Cade: 

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Reports of interest, Tuesday 20th November 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 21:34
Tufted Duck - 17 Lytchett Bay RSPB is good for the site (20 is the best ever record).
Great White Egret - 1 Lodmoor.
Red Kite - 2 Cerne Abbas.
Marsh Harrier - 1 Lodmoor, 1 Lytchett Bay RSPB, 3 Radipole Lake RSPB.
Hen Harrier - 1 Lytchett Bay RSPB.
Woodcock - 1 Lytchett Bay RSPB.
Long-Eared Owl - 1 Portland Bill.
Brambling - 1 Radipole Lake RSPB.
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

20 Nov 18

Martin Adlam - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 19:49

The temperature dropped to 4°C today and with that strong north easterly it felt a lot lot colder.

The number of Chaffinches is rising daily and there were 7 around the feeders. The Greenfinches are back, with 3 squabbling over the bragging rights to the sunflower seed feeder.

No Goldfinches today, but both Great Tit and Blue Tit were busy grabbing seeds, before disappearing into the neighbours Buckthorn to eat them.

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


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