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2 May 18

Martin Adlam - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 15:56
Obs Quarry, Hut Fields, Top Field, Sweet Hill and Culverwell

A long walk which started off in the Obs Quarry, where there were 2 Whitethroat, 6 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 female Common Redstart, a pair of Dunnock, 1 Great Tit and 4 bunnies.

In the Hut fields 2 there were Blackbirds, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 female Common Redstart and a Common Whitethroat. As I made way towards the main road, a bird came off the sea calling "Chip chip, Chip chip" and headed straight up over the Crown Estate Fields and then up towards Sweethill. The only conclusion I can come to is that this was a Crossbill. This is very similar to what I heard Here. We shall never know!!

In the Crown Estate Fields were 2 Wheatear and Skylarks.

Up at Sweethill, there were several birders looking for the Golden Orioles which were proving hard to locate. Also here another female Common Redstart, Common Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warblers and my first Holly Blue and Red Admiral of the year.

From Sweethill I doubled back along the path, above the main road, and headed to Culverwell. Here were 2 Willow Warblers, a male Blackcap and a male Orange-tip butterfly.

Here are a few images from today:

The Obs Quarry........
.......which not only had Common Whitethroat.......
.......but also 4 bunnies. Not allowed to say the R word on the island.
Looking south over the Obs Quarry.
In the Hut Fields several Linnets........
................including some handsome looking male birds.
Yellow-legged Mining-bee - Andrena flavipes
7-spot Ladybird - Coccinella septempunctata
A male Blackbird looks on. Must be a nest somewhere close.
An Early Mining Bee - Andrena haemorrhoa
The Top Fields are looking amazing with both Daisy's and Buttercups out in full bloom.
A Sparrowhawk landed on the wall in front of me...........
.........before heading off towards Culverwell.
The rear end of a male Blackcap, which you can just make out. The black cap that is!!!
A pair of Wood Pigeon in Culverwell where........
.........there was also this male Orange-tip butterfly. My first this Spring.
Birds Recorded: 3 Gannet, 1 Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Pheasant, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Skylark, 20+ Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, 3 Common Redstart, 2 Wheatear, Blackbird, 4 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 8 Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and a possible Crossbill.

Also recorded: 1 Orange-tip butterfly, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Small White. Also Yellow-legged Mining-bee (Andrena flavipes), Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa) and Honey-bees. Still thousands of Brown Tail moth caterpillars about and a 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata).
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ...01-05-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 08:24
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

1st May

Portland Bird Observatory - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:54
A cool, breezy start to May but with enough on land and sea to keep visitors entertained. The 2 lingering Golden Orioles at the Bill attracted a steady trickle of admirers and although there was nothing else by way of a scarcity the spread of routine migrants included most of what might be expected at this stage of the season, with a Turtle Dove at Tout Quarry, a Pied Flycatcher at Wakeham and 6 Redstarts, 6 Whinchats, 4 Yellow Wagtails and singles of Hobby, Common Sandpiper and White Wagtail at Southwell/the Bill of note. Offshore, Manx Shearwaters dominated the numbers: sample counts suggested as many as 10000 passed the Bill through the day as a whole but with movement taking place in both directions it seems unlikely that there wasn't huge duplication; proper passage of other seabirds only really got going once the wind backed out of the north after midday, with 51 commic terns, 40 Bar-tailed Godwits, 11 Great Skuas, 9 Arctic Skuas, 2 Black-throated Divers, 2 Pomarine Skuas and singles of Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver eventually logged at the Bill.

Redstart at Southwell © Debby Saunders...


...and Great Northern Diver off the Bill © Ken King:



The Golden Orioles were rarely particularly close but at times they were showing really quite nicely © Martin Cade:

Maybe through having been around too long we can remember the times when evening seawatching at the obelisk used to be a popular activity at the Bill; sadly, interest's dwindled these days which is a shame since there's often just as much on the move as in the mornings © Martin Cade:
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Sightings - Tuesday 1st May 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:21
Manx Shearwater - Steady passage past Portland
Cattle Egret - 1 Swineham Point
White Stork - 1wandering individual, seen over Canford Heath, Magna Academy and Stoborough
Glossy Ibis - Lytchett Fields and then seen at Arne
Greater Scaup - 1 Abbotsbury, 1 Longham Lakes
Mandarin Duck - 2 on River Stour near Canford School
Marsh Harrier - 1 Wareham Channel
Osprey - 1 Wareham Channel
Little Ringed Plover - 1 Lytchett Fields
Common Sandpiper - 3 Lodmoor
Great Skua - 2 past Portland
Pomarine Skua - 1 past Portland
Bonaparte's Gull - 1 Longham Lakes
Redstart - 4 Portland, 1 Durlston
Golden Oriole - 1 male, 1 female/first summer male Portland

                                        Glossy Ibis at Lytchett Fields copyright R A Howes
                                           Glossy Ibis in flight copyright R A Howes
                         Green Woodpeckers in Colehill Garden copyright Trevor Wilkinson
                                  Whitethroat at Hengistbury Head copyright Clinton Whale




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1 May 18

Martin Adlam - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:14
Wakeham

Well there was a Willow Warbler singing in the back garden until it got drowned out by this..............


It looks like work on the new Housing Estate has started early. According to the Development Management and Building Control at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, work in Bumpers Lane for the development of 71 homes isn't supposed to start until after 12 May 18. If approved that is. Looks like someone didn't get the memo!!!!!!
Planning Application Here.
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30th April

Portland Bird Observatory - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 23:22
For the most part it was back down to earth with a bump today with the migrant tap reduced to little more than a drip; however, the 2 Golden Orioles remained in Top Fields and a/the Hoopoe seen at the Bill in almost identically subliminal circumstances to yesterday did introduce some quality to proceedings. There were pockets of action on the migrant front - for instance, Pennsylvania Castle was described as laden with Willow Warblers - but in most areas exposed to the full force of the raw northerly it was almost lifeless in comparison with yesterday's excesses: among the new arrivals at the Bill only Redstart, Wheatear, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff managed double figure totals on the ground, with 2 Black Redstarts and singles of Hobby, Turtle Dove, Firecrest (the long stayer resurfacing again) providing the only additional quality there; another Hobby also passed through at Blacknor.
Same time, same place, same circumstances as yesterday; it's hard to believe that the two Hoopoe sightings don't relate to the same individual but if that is the case then it's proving to be a remarkably elusive bird that vanishes into oblivion after flashing through the Crown Estate Field soon after dawn © Martin Cade:

Redstart and Chiffchaff at the Bill today © Simon Kidner:

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Sightings - Monday 30th April 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 22:04
Spoonbill - 1 Stanpit
Red Kite - 2 Shell Bay drifting NE, 1 over Lytchett Bay
Hoopoe - 1 Portland
Tree Pipit - 1 Holton Lee
Redstart - 1 Portland, 1 Hill Bottom, Worth Matravers
Whinchat - 2 Sunnyside
Wood Warbler - 1 Hill Bottom, Worth Matravers
Spotted Flycatcher - 3 Portland, 1 Lytchett Bay, 1 Hill Bottom, Worth Matravers
Pied Flycatcher - 1 Hill Bottom, Worth Matravers
Golden Oriole - 2 Portland top fields (1male, 1female). Only female seen later


                                    Female Golden Oriole at Portland copyright Pete Coe
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Bony's back

Peter Moores Blog - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 21:57
Bonaparte's Gull, named for the Emperor's nephew rather than the great man himself, is an American species which, until 2015, had been a very rare visitor to Dorset. A long-staying bird in Weymouth that year started a run of records which has seen at least one occur in the county every year since.Bonaparte's Gull, Longham Lakes on 15 AprilNote partial Ashy-grey hood, dark bill and pink legsA shade smaller than the local Black-headed GullsThe bird came in really close to feed on some bait thrown out by a fishermanDip-feeding and pattering on the surface, reminiscent of a Storm PetrelThe Bonaparte's (bottom right) was getting some hassle from Black-headed Gulls but held its own in the meleeLast year I managed to catch up with a first summer Bonaparte's Gull at Longham Lakes, and what is presumed to be the same bird reappeared there earlier in 2018. When first relocated in March just a few flecks of dark feathering could be seen on the head as it moulted into second summer plumage. I first hooked up with it a few weekends ago when these flecks had developed into a mottled, ashy grey hood. This had developed further still by the time I last saw it on 22 April. Quite amazing to study the photographic records which show that particular plumage feature advancing on a daily basis.
Bonaparte's Gull, Longham Lakes on 22 AprilA little more distant on this occasion - but still very smartA view of the upperwing......and the paler underwing (compared to Black-headed Gull)Compare the key features in this shot with....The more familiar Black-headed GullAs if often the case, Longham Lakes had a good supporting cast for the Bonaparte's Gull - a smart drake Scaup was present on one of my visits, Great Crested Grebes were in their breeding finery and the first Reed Warblers of the spring gave themselves away with their scratchy song in the reedbeds.
Drake Scaup with Tufted DuckGreat Crested GrebesGreat Crested GrebeReed WarblerReed WarblerReed WarblerBonaparte's Gull
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Golden Oriole (f) - 30 Apr 2018 - Portland, Dorset

Charmouth Birding - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 18:35
Early reports that the Golden Orioles had remained on the island overnight prompted a little trip over to Portland with Justin T @Woodworser

We arrived around Midday and after making enquiries at PBO headed in the direction of the Top Fields to be told that the bird (a Bird) had been seen heading away from the Observers. Pausing briefly to take in a gorgeous male Common Redstart we wandered over in the direction of Sweet Hill. No Golden Oriole but quite a few Common Whitethroat were eveident in the hedgerows. A beautiful male Greenfinch flew through against the cold northerly wind and one or two Swallows were also heading north. We returned to the Barn area of Top Fields, which we decided afforded our best shot at connecting with the Golden Oriole.

While we waited the male and also now 2 female Common Redstart were feeding in the adjacent paddock areas, giving fantastic prolonged views. We didn't have too long to wait and after a couple of false alarms, at 1pm, a beautiful female Golden Oriole flew along the hedge, affording great flight views. Flying across the next field it perched up about 100 metres away for a few minutes in good light. Thanks to the original finders and the usual great location information from PBO! A fantastic bird and the second I have now seen on Portland - the first being a (sub-adult male I think) bird-in-the-hand last year on 18/05/17. Here's a few snaps I managed to get which will help me to remember the successful mini-twitch.





Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

TALK by TV's Dr George McGavin for DWT: What have bugs ever done for me?

Dorset Wildlife Trust - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 12:45

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is delighted to invite the public to a talk by television presenter and bug expert, Dr George McGavin, to help raise money for Dorset’s largest wildlife charity. 

Categories: Twitter

30 Apr 18

Martin Adlam - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 12:35
Obs Quarry, Hut Fields and Crown Estate Fields

Late morning I headed off to the Obs for an hour, though with the wind now coming from the NW I wasn't expecting to see the masses of bird we had here yesterday. News was that a Hoopoe was in the Crown Estate Fields and that yesterdays Golden Orioles were still about in the Top Fields. My trip today though was to see if there was anything in the Obs Quarry and Hut Fields.

In the quarry I found absolutely nothing, other than 2 House Martins and 2 Swallows passing overhead. So it was off to Hut fields were there were quite a few birds sheltering from that biting north-westerly. East of the obs garden wall here, where it was very sheltered, I had 3 female Common Redstarts, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 male Blackcap, 2 Wheatears, 3 Whinchat, 2 Willow Warblers and a possible Lesser Whitethroat which only gave me a fleeting glimpse as it disappeared across the fields.

Apart from that it was very quiet and as I headed back to the main road to have a look across the Crown Estate Fields, the only 4 species I found were a single Stock Dove, a pair of Linnets, another Willow Warbler and a Kestrel which caught a large sized Vole (or was it a small Rat) by the roadside grass verge.

Here are a few images from this morning.

A Common Whitethroat........
.......in the hedgerow behind the Obs garden wall.
A bit further along one of the 3 female Common Redstarts gets ready to take off.
Across from the Obs entrance........
......this Kestrel has caught a rodent........
.......possibly a vole or a.......
......small Rat.
Birds seen today: 4 Gannet, Cormorant, 1 Kestrel, Pheasant, Herring Gull, 1 Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, 2 House Martin, 2 Swallow, Dunnock, 3 Whinchat, 3 Common Redstart, 2 Wheatear, Blackbird, 1 Common Whitethroat, possible Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, Wren, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and 2 Greenfinch.

Ships Today
This the Dutch general cargo vessel Hathor on its way from Bilbao, Spain to Ijmuiden, Holland. More on this vessel Here.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ...29-04-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 08:28
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

29th April

Portland Bird Observatory - Sun, 04/29/2018 - 23:38
This spring's migrant avalanche had got so delayed that it was probably always going to be a really big one when it did strike and today's conditions - heavily overcast with a brisk, cold northeasterly - were just the catalyst needed. The movement through was both rapid and on a very broad front but from point counts and the ringing efforts at the Obs it would seem that (probably conservative) estimates for the Bill area were something of the order of 2000 Willow Warblers, 750 Swallows, 300 Wheatears, 200 each of Blackcap, Whitethroat and Garden Warbler, 60 Redstarts, 50 each of Yellow Wagtail and Chiffchaff, 40 Spotted Flycatchers, 30 Tree Pipits, 25 each of Swift and Whinchat, 20 Reed Warblers, 15 each of Sedge Warbler and Pied Flycatcher, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 each of Short-eared Owl, Golden Oriole and Siskin and singles of Merlin and Hoopoe; with most of these birds patently moving rapidly northward it seems pointless mentioning the often excellent totals of a similar range of birds elsewhere since there must have been huge duplication, but singles of Hoopoe and Golden Oriole in the Grove area were the only scarcities reported. Although conditions were far from ideal for the sea there were a few odds and ends on the move off the Bill, including 80 Bar-tailed Godwits, 41 Common Scoter, 40 commic terns, 7 Great Northern Divers, 2 Red-throated Divers and singles of Great Skua, Pomarine Skua and Arctic Skua.

A few nice little videos that really give a feel for the events of the day © Dave Foot:




...and another one of the Golden Orioles © Martin Cade:

And some stills: Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat and Greenland Wheatear © Pete Saunders (Pied Fly), Debby Saunders (Whinchat) and Nick Hopper (Greenland Wheatear):



Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Sightings - Sunday 29th April 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Sun, 04/29/2018 - 22:14
Spoonbill - 1 Middlebere
Greater Scaup - 1 female Abbotsbury
Common Scoter - 3 off Cogden Beach
Red Kite - 1 Badbury Rings
Marsh Harrier - 1 female Cowards Marsh
Montagu's Harrier - 1male West Compton, seen from private garden
Purple Sandpiper - 5 Hengistbury Head
Spotted Redshank - 1 Arne from Coombe Heath Viewpoint
Iceland Gull - 1 2nd winter Dancing Ledge at Blackers Hole
Hoopoe - 1 Portland in Grove Stadium area
Tree Pipit - 2 Portland, 1 Town Common, Christchurch
Redstart - 24+ Portland, 2 St Aldhelms Head, 1 Abbotsbury Swannery, 1 St Catherines Hill, Christchurch, 1 Lytchett Fields
Whinchat - 12+ Portland
Blackcap - 60 Abbotsbury Swannery
Garden Warbler - 65 Portland, 40 Abbotsbury Swannery
Whitethroat - 31 Portland
Wood Warbler - 2 Portland, 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Chiffchaff - 40 Worth Matravers
Willow Warbler - 500+ Portland, 400+ Abbotsbury Swannery
Spotted Flycatcher - 10 Portland, 3 Worth Matravers, 1 Ballard Down
Pied Flycatcher - 2 Portland, 2 Abbotsbury Swannery, 1 Bridport
Golden Oriole - 2 Portland
Crossbill - 6 Winspit
Corn Buntings - 3 Badbury Rings

                                   Purple Sandpiper, Hengistbury Head copyright Clinton Whale

                               Whimbrel, Holloways Dock, Hengistbury Head copyright Clinton Whale
                                         Swallows on River Tarrant copyright Brian Smith


Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)

Steve Carey - Sun, 04/29/2018 - 20:16
Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) Thursley CommonSurrey29th April 2018
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29 Apr 18

Martin Adlam - Sun, 04/29/2018 - 12:04
Top Fields and Admiralty Hedgerow

Wow, it's one thing to see a Golden Oriole but to see both a male and female a hundreds meters apart is just fantastic. Thank you to the chap in the red jacket for telling me where he had seen the female and to all the other birders who spotted the male in the Admiralty hedgerow. The videos and photos below are are what you would call record shots as both birds were a good 150 - 200 metres away. My cameras good but not that good.

Also about were dozens upon dozens of Willow Warblers and Swallows making there way across the fields into a strong northerly wind. There were also 30+ Wheatears in the fields just north of Southwell and in the hedgerows by the farm I had a pair of Common Redstart, a female Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher, several Common Whitethroat and a Lesser Whitethroat.

What a morning!!

This the female Golden Oriole at a considerable distance from where I was standing. She was quite active and appeared to be feeding on the caterpillars of the Brown-tail moth. Of which there are thousands in the hedgerows at the moment
The female Golden Oriole..........
..........was quite mobile along.....
......these wall here and appeared to be feeding on the caterpillars of the Brown-tail moth..
And even further away a male Golden Oriole, which gave me amazing views as it flew from the hedgerow across the field to the bushes here.

Originally it was in the........
..........hedgerow here, until it flew off across the field.
Here a male Redstart is taking shelter in a Top Field hedge. 
Here it's spotted a meal.
In the field to the south of Southwell there were 30+ Wheatear.
Also moving through were dozens and dozens of Willow Warblers. One even stopped to sing.
Birds seen this morning: Kestrel, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Skylark, House Martin, 60+ Swallow, Meadow Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, 2 Common Redstart, 50+ Wheatear, Blackbird, 7 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 18+ Chiffchaff, 50+ Willow Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 2 Golden Oriole, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch.


Ships Today
This is the Bomar Pluto a Maltese Oil/Chemical Tanker on its way from Donges, France to Portland Harbour. More on this vessel Here.
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