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Beast!

Gavin Haigh - Fri, 14/02/2020 - 22:30
It's 14:17 and there I am, innocently toiling away in Bridport. My phone rings. It's Steve...

'Gav, I've got a candidate American Herring Gull...'

I don't recall much of the 3'16" conversation which ensues. A brief discussion of useful field characters, details of its exact location on the estuary, that kind of thing. It's hard to concentrate. I am a good half-hour drive away. Mercifully I am able to head over immediately.

The stress...oh my life! It is such a long time since I've endured a pukka drop-everything-and-go twitching experience, and I'd forgotten how bad it is. Steve very, very rarely makes a mistake; if he thought it was a very good candidate, it would definitely be one. Torturing me the whole way were memories of times past. Similar phonecalls, similar nail-biting drives, and calamitous dips. Gull-billed Tern...Laughing Gull...the Axe patch has not always been kind to me. And yet, it might stick...it might just stick. Oh ple-e-e-ase let it stick!

Pulling up by the handful of birders already present I was a wreck. Still there? Yes it was. Yes. Yes! YE-E-E-E-SSSSS!!!

Exactly 38 minutes after ringing off from Steve, I took this...

See the black thing in the middle? American Herring Gull!
It was gob-smackingly dark. And big. BIG. And aggressive. And utterly, utterly gorgeous. And here are lots of photos to prove it. First of all, in company with various regular argenteus Herring Gulls. Just cop that massive bulk in comparison! It's a beast! I was struck by how certain poses accentuate the 'collared' effect that separates the paler head from the darker nape and underparts in a similar fashion to Caspian Gull. Note the smooth dark belly and pale-based bill leaning towards Glaucous Gull pattern. It even has a different facial expression to our HGs...


And a few shots highlighting other useful ID features like the strongly barred rump and undertail, the almost wholly dark tail with just a few whitish notches on the outer web of the outer feathers. I didn't manage any decent open wing photos, but don't care...

Big, dark, plain centres to many of the scapulars.
Initially I suspected this was not the same bird which Ian McLean found on West Bexington beach back on 25th January. My memory of the photos told me the scaps were darker, plainer. I was wrong. Here is a comparison of the two birds in a vaguely similar pose...

Despite the almost three-week gap in time, and the differences in resolution, it is easy to pick out similarities in these shots. They are one and the same bird.
In some ways I was encouraged by that fact. If it is still in the general vicinity, it may well appear again, and perhaps establish enough of a routine that a lot more birders might connect with this absolute monster of a gull. I hope so.

Finally, here is a video compilation from this afternoon. Please forgive the occasional background vocalisations. Main commentary by Harry Waite...

Categories: Magazine

14 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Fri, 14/02/2020 - 13:15
Radipole RSPB Reserve

My third visit to Radipole this year, which to be honest was a bit disappointing. Though not over the paths it was noticeable that the water levels were very high and with the wind picking up there just seemed to be a dearth of birds. Maybe they've sensed that a storm is approaching.

No real highlights other than a few fleeting calls from just 3 small flocks of Bearded Tits. Around the reserve were a few male Reed Buntings singing and it was good to see & hear a few Greenfinches wheezing from the hedgerow close to the North Hide.

Along the Buddleia loop there was lone Chiffchaff and out in the open water a Great Crested Grebe and its mate. There were a few people along the loop hoping to see the Penduline Tits, but sadly they were proving hard to find.

By the Centre were the usual Herring Gulls and Black-headed Gulls, plus a couple of Mediterranean Gulls and Common Gulls.

Here are a few images from today:

The staff on the reserve have been busy clearing a few areas around the North Hide.
A pair of Gadwall
Two male Pochard. The bird on the right has been diving deep into the "mud".
A Common Gull in flight, a Black-headed Gull on the water, and a Shelduck dwarfing its cousin the Teal.
Plenty of Robins around the reserve.
Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna) is just beginning to flower along the pathways.
A Violet, though as to which one I'm not sure. But there were quite a few beginning to flower.

Mammals Recorded: Brown Rats

Birds Recorded: Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, 2 Canada Goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, 1 Sparrowhawk, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Gull, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, Bearded Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Reed Bunting

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

13 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Thu, 13/02/2020 - 16:16
Portland Bill

A change of scenery today and even though Storm Ciara passed over us 4 days ago, the gale force winds and rough seas are still with us. In fact another storm, this time Storm Dennis is set to hit us on Saturday. Its never ending!!

I timed it right today as the tide began to turn and to the left of the Obelisk were 12 Purple Sandpipers preparing themselves to feed on the lower ledges. One by one they dropped onto the ledge, but every now and then were sent scurrying, as the odd large wave came crashing in. I hadn't noticed it at first but a Turnstone was keeping them company. However as the sandpipers dropped below, it decided the waves were too much of a risk to join them.

With huge waves breaking out to sea, there was very little sea passage of birds, in fact all I managed were several Guillemots, 1 Razorbill, 5 Gannet, 2 Cormorant, 1 Shag and a dozen or so Herring Gull and a couple of Great Black-backed Gulls. It was pretty wild out there.

On the land just a handful of Rock Pipits and the resident corvids.

Here are a few images and videos from today:

There seems to be no let up with the rough seas.
And having seen one storm pass another is on its way.
The "Red Crane" gets a battering.
A Turnstone mingles with the Purple Sandpipers
Two of the 12 Purple Sandpipers by the Obelisk.
The Purple Sandpipers doing a bit of rock hopping in their search for a meal.
A blue-eyed Carrion Crow. In fact it is a third eye-lid and helps protect the eyes and moistens them. It is called a nictitating membrane.

There were go eyes uncovered.
Birds Recorded: Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, 12 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Turnstone, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Razorbill, Guillemot, Rock Pipit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven and Starling

Ships Today
This is the Russian Cargo Ship "Darina" on its way from Klaipeda (Lithuania) to New Ross (Ireland). More on this vessel Here.

This is the Cypriot Vehicles Carrier "Isar Highway" on its way from Zeebrugge (Belgium) to Dublin. More on this vessel Here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

When in Doubt, Press 'Record'

Gavin Haigh - Thu, 13/02/2020 - 09:28
So, yesterday I posted a video. It claims to depict a 2nd-winter Caspian Gull on the mere at West Bexington. If you haven't viewed it yet I would politely ask that you do, because I have three questions...
  1. Out of ten, how would you rate it quality-wise?
  2. From the video alone, are you convinced that its subject genuinely is a Casp?
  3. Was exposing my precious camera to the wind, rain and salt spray for 1'50" worth the bother?
Here are my own answers...
  1. 1/10, maybe 2/10 at a pinch.
  2. Er...
  3. Absolutely!
The rest of this post is devoted to explaining my answer to Q3...

While on the Devon Records Committee I was tasked with producing an article on description writing. The premise was simple. Like most (all?) counties Devon has a list of birds considered locally rare, sometimes known as 'description species'. In my day I'm sure we lost some perfectly genuine records because the bird was inadequately described. My brief was to write something that would help anyone reading it to compile a solid, convincing description. It was entitled Tactical Description Writing...or How to Help the Records Committee. I have no idea whether it succeeded in its purpose, but I was surprised to discover that it still resides on the Devon Birds website and can be accessed here. I was even more surprised to note that I wrote it more than ten years ago. Rereading it was also a glimpse of an earlier me, a me who was actively involved in, and encouraged, record submission back then. Hmm. My conscience was duly pricked. Anyway...

Here's the point of all this. On 26th Jan I was fortunate enough to encounter what looked like a scarce gull, a 'description species'. Scope views had convinced me that it may well be a 2nd-winter Caspian Gull. The conditions were appalling: blasting wind, steady rain and the air full of spray. Caspian Gull is tricky. It's one of those birds which you ID not from any single feature, but a combination of several. I basically knew what to look for, so tried to do just that. One feature that did show up well in the field was the little white mirror in p10 (the outer primary) but some others were harder to discern. For example, I could see it had lots of grey, adult-type coverts, but which ones exactly? The underwing appeared to be very white, but was it? My scope and I were getting battered about all over the shop, and so was the bird. I realised that trying for photos would be a waste of time, and didn't fancy exposing my shiny new camera to a rainy salt bath anyway. But what about a quick video? Well, perhaps you've seen it now, and like me wondered whether it was worth the bother?

The answer is yes. Yes it was. Very much. I'm amazed really. It's like someone has just switched the light on, and finally I see the possibilities open to the modern-day birder. Less than two minutes of dire video can turn a 'possible/probable' into a nailed-on 'definite'. Here's how...

My computer gear is basic. A modest Windows 10 laptop, with Picasa 3 for photo editing. I simply uploaded the video from the camera and then accessed it via the standard Windows 10 video player app. By clicking on a little pencil icon ('Edit in Photos') you are then able to go through it frame by frame, and save any useful ones as a still image. And you don't necessarily need sharp images in order to illustrate a particular feature. Nearly all the frames were blurry, but I easily got enough to put together a convincing description. But I'll save that for another post.

Rarely have I been so pleased with an image so utterly awful. Tucked away in this massive smear is an excellent 2nd-winter Casp feature. If you find yourself going 'Ah yes, there it is...' well, gulls are either sucking you in or have got you already. Welcome. 
I realise that some birders have been doing exactly this for years, but for me it is pretty much uncharted territory. Maybe you too? I hope it's not just me...though I do expect there are NQS readers out there going 'Ha! Welcome to the 21st century Gav!' and chuckling a bit...

Getting good photos is great, and I am absolutely delighted with what the Nikon P900 can do, but some tricky birds might demand images which are difficult to capture, like an underwing shot, say, or exposed rump. Pressing the shutter at exactly the right moment is a challenge. This Caspian Gull has opened my eyes to the potential of the video function, because without it I'd have got nothing.

So, in prep and coming soon, description of West Bex Casp...
Categories: Magazine

12 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Wed, 12/02/2020 - 15:59
Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church, Church Ope Cove Wood and Church Ope Cove
A much drier start to the day and a definite dip in the wind. The lull before the storm, as it appears that Storm Dennis is just around the corner.

Today's one and only highlight was a single Firecrest in Penns Wood, no sign of the second bird here or the the third bird at the back of the cove.

The 10+ strong Long-tailed Tit flock still remains in Penns wood and there is a bit of a Spring feeling here as the male Chaffinches are in good voice. There is also a bit of argy-bargy with the female Chaffinches, with quite a few chasing off other females. Not sure what that is that all about.

On the beach its was great to see 12 Rock Pipits, the highest number I have seen here this year. Also with them a Grey Wagtail, whilst just off the beach the adult Winter Black-headed Gull was still lingering.

Whilst the sun was out there were several Wall Lizards soaking up a few rays.

Also noted today were a few Buff-tailed BumblebeesEarly Bumblebees, a couple of Marmalade Hoverflies, a Migrant Hoverfly and a Common Dronefly.

Alongside the steps behind the cove was a Common Green Shieldbug on the Alexanders.

Here are a few images from today:

For a change the beach was busy with 12 Rock Pipits feeding on the millions of Kelp Flies.
In fact in most cases they didn't have to move far to catch their meal.
These flies are so small its going to take awhile to fill that stomach.
Another Kelp Fly is dispatched.
At least you dont have to put in too much effort for a meal.
I've not seen too many Grey Wagtails on the beach this year. This one like the Rock Pipits is on the hunt for a meal.
While the sun is out the Wall Lizards will show.
And adult and juvenile
Another juvenile. Can they get any smaller!!
A slight variation in colour.
A very distinct fly with an orange abdomen a Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa)
And a Common Green Shieldbug in winter colours.
Mammals Recorded: Grey Squirrel

Birds Recorded: 1 Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 12 Rock Pipit, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 15+ Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch

Reptiles Recorded: Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Bees Recorded: Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum) and Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Migrant Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis) and Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax)

Flies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Kelp Fly (Coelopa frigida) and Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina)

Ships Today
This is the British Fishery Patrol boat "Ocean Osprey" on its way out of Portland Harbour. More on this vessel Here.
This is the British Frigate "HMS Lancaster" just off Portland. More on this vessel Here.
This is the British Destroyer "HMS Daring" just off Portland. More on this vessel Here.
This is the British Replenishment Ship "RFA Tideforce" out in Weymouth bay. More on this vessel Here.
Note

Out of view but along with HMS Daring and HMS Lancaster were also HMS Mersey, HMS Montrose, HMS Northumberland and HMS Dragon. Obviously a big training exercise.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

West Bexington Caspian Gull 26/1/20

Gavin Haigh - Wed, 12/02/2020 - 09:01
Finally learned how to post a satisfactory video on the blog. So, here is one minute and 50 seconds of the 2nd-winter Caspian Gull at West Bexington on Jan 26. It was raining and very blowy, and it shows. If you like the sound of roaring wind, turn the volume right up...



Categories: Magazine

January 2020

Gavin Haigh - Tue, 11/02/2020 - 22:50
Experience tells me that I am not immune from phasing, so in order to mitigate that tendency I plan at least to write a monthly review type post, come what may, just in case there's been nothing else for the previous four weeks. This is the first. I know it's a bit late, but the idea only occurred to me this afternoon...

January 1st. The very flooded entrance to the West Bex Reserve.
January was very kind to me. In no particular order...

White Wagtail. One birding friend put it like this: 'Reckon you dug a big hole for yourself with that one, and just about managed to climb out...'  I think he's not wrong. Winter White Wags are no doubt very scarce at least, maybe properly rare. With hindsight, my ID research before claiming it was a bit sketchy. After the fact someone did kindly put me on to a very definitive paper on the topic, and thankfully the bird survived closer scrutiny. In future I will try to remember to do research first. Here is the little scoundrel...

Looks pretty cool though doesn't it?
Caspian Gulls. Finding three Casps in one calendar month is ridiculous. Two 1st-winters on the Axe, and a 2nd-winter on the West Bexington mere. This crazy hit rate has done wonders for my confidence, and just at the moment I feel almost hard done by when a big gang of gulls produces nothing, forgetting that this is actually the norm! Getting into gulls has added so much to my birding. The learning curve is endless, and if you like a challenge I cannot recommend it highly enough. Without exception I have found that more experienced and knowledgeable gull enthusiasts are happy to help if you seek it, and gracious in their doing so. And the rewards are obvious...

Gulls rock!

7th Jan. Axe Estuary 1st-winter26th Jan. West Bex 2nd-winter28th Jan. Axe Estuary. Lumpy 1st-winter
Sibe Chiffs. Prior to this winter I was very unsure how exactly to define a tristis Chiff. So it was deeply satisfying to reach a happy conclusion on this. Essentially I've adopted a 'best-fit' kind of strategy, but I'm conscious that many other birders have likewise embraced the necessity for this. For me the complex reality of Chiff genetics precludes a less pragmatic approach.

The journey was fascinating. There is stacks of literature on the topic, and some of it is perfectly readable. Even the stodgy stuff contained enough gems to warrant wading through it. Having birds respond to song playback was a real thrill. You're giving them the soundtrack of a Siberian forest, and suddenly you appreciate just how far away from home they are...

Kilmington tristis, with typical sewage filter bed background.
Med Gull Invasion. At least 123 Meds on the Axe in a day. Compared to a previous record of 30-odd. It was brilliant to witness this. I wonder if it's the start of something...?

Jan 29th. There are 10 or 11 Med Gulls in this shot alone. Mad.Jan 30th. Quite a few still around. Beautiful gulls.
Other stuff. There was twitching. Going for Ian McLean's American Herring Gull at West Bex might have been a dip, but it earned me the Bex Caspian Gull and a bonus Yellow-legged Gull. Plus I got to meet a few of Dorset's birders and practise my social skills.

There was a golf ball...

Maxfli Noodle Long & Soft rescued from the estuary mud. Lifer.
There was a frustrating exchange with a bird photographer. Not my finest hour, but unless there is a compelling reason not to I tend to let NQS be a 'warts and all' kind of thing. Actually, frustrating is not the word. Depressing fits better. All the good birding has been a fine antidote though...

There was a lot of solitude. Birding alone, in beautiful surroundings, has been a major feature of the month, and exactly what I was hoping for. No pressure to stick to a defined area, or to keep a list. It has been utterly liberating...

Burton Cliffs, looking E from Freshwater Beach at sunset. When birds don't matter...
Categories: Magazine

11 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Tue, 11/02/2020 - 14:23
Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church, Church Ope Cove Wood and Church Ope Cove
Not a lot different than yesterday, though if anything the wind speed seems to have increased. There were still a few squally showers about and after the late morning one had passed I set off down to the cove.

Main highlights were very much the same as yesterday with 2 Firecrests in Penns Wood and another at the back of the cove. The small flock of 10+ Long-tailed Tits are still in the woods, which is probably one of the few sheltered spots on the island.

Nothing on the beach, but as I arrived 2 Pied Wagtails left and 3 Rock Pipits were seen heading south across the cove. Just off the beach an adult Winter Black-headed Gull was feeding in the surf.

Also about there were 4 Wall Lizards in the grounds of St Andrew's Church with another at the back of the cove, just where they have cut the Hebes hedge back from the path.

A few Buff-tailed Bumblebees were out on the Hebes and also in the long grass in the Church Grounds, perhaps looking for a new nest!! Just the one Migrant Hoverfly seen today, plus a a couple of Phaonia subventaMuscid Flies and a Common Green Shieldbug in winter colours.

The mild conditions have seen a few Comfrey's come into flower in Penns Wood. Very early as they don't normally flower until the end of April!!

Here are a few images from today:

The grounds of St Andrew's Church where the sun was warm enough for......
.......these Wall Lizards
And another.
The juvenile from yesterday next to the Garden Snails. And just poking its head out an adult Wall Lizard.
Not in the Church grounds but yet again on the path behind the beach huts.
An adult Winter Black-headed Gull avoiding the waves.
It took some lift off to..........
...........clear this one.
It was a day of singing Robins.
It didn't matter where you walked......
..........there were Robins singing all along my walk.
A very short song burst
There were quite a few Buff-tailed Bumblebees out today. This one was warming up on one the trees in Penns Wood.
This Buff-tailed Bumblebee has a Common Green Shieldbug for company.
A Muscid Fly. This one is a Palomena prasina
And very early flowering Comfrey in Penns Wood. This plant normally flowers at the end of April
Birds Recorded: 1 Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 3 Rock Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 3 Firecrest, 10+ Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Linnet and Goldfinch

Reptiles Recorded: 4 Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Bees Recorded: Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Hoverflies Recorded: Migrant Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis)

Flies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: Kelp Fly (Coelopa frigida) and Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded
: 1 Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

What's in a Name?

Gavin Haigh - Mon, 10/02/2020 - 23:18
Some birders are re-e-eal touchy about nomenclature. I use the word advisedly, because that is exactly what I mean, as in 'the devising or choosing of names for things, especially in a science or other discipline'. Well, birding is a 'discipline' (kind of) and the names you devise and choose to give to birding's 'things' (birds) is a matter of enormous consequence to some of those who practise it (birders).

To see what I mean, try this...

First, go to a random, very popular birding spot and find a Thrush Nightingale. [It's absolutely vital to do this before taking step two] Step two: run over to the nearest ten birders and politely say: 'Excuse me, but I've just found a lovely Sprosser in that sallow clump over there!'

Step three is trickier. On each of those birders you quickly need to perform a non-touching Vulcan mind-meld. Once achieved, this is what you will discover...
  • Ten out of the ten will be delighted at the prospect of seeing a Thrush Nightingale.
  • Five out of the ten will be gutted they didn't find it first.
  • Three out of the ten will be struggling with a gag reflex and thinking very uncharitable thoughts because you called it a Sprosser.
Yes, the word Sprosser is a button-pusher. I'm not sure why. After all, der Sprosser (Luscinia luscinia) ist ein Singvogel aus der Familie der Fliegenschnäpper, und ist known by that very name right across...er...Germany. And (privately) by seven out of ten birders in random, very popular birding spots in the UK. But those other three hate it...

So here's a question. What is wrong with Sprosser? I am curious about why some of the names we use for birds appear almost universally acceptable, and some not. A few get sniffy about Bonxie instead of Great Skua, and more than a few when it comes to Tystie rather than Black Guillemot. Is it a quirky kind of snobbery? A judgement on what is and is not pretentious? Or cool? Something else?

And what about diminutives? I realise there are full-name pedants out there who simply cannot stoop to Lesser Spot, and will insist on all seven syllables of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker come what may, but they are few, and have my pity. Personally I am very comfortable with Mipit, but usually leave the other pipits as they are. I use Pied Fly, Spot Fly and RB Fly, but never Collared Fly (chance would be a fine thing) and see nothing wrong with Icky but don't really use it myself. Gropper always, also Barwit, Blackwit and LRP. I could go on ad infinitum, but you get the picture I'm sure. I use lots of diminutives and other colloquial names with easy familiarity. I don't feel awkward with them, or that I'm in some way forcing it, but I'm conscious that other birders might feel very differently about some of them. Yet there are many which I don't use, that I don't feel so comfortable with. Why is that? Fascinating...

A nice Melody I photographed on Scilly. Er...no... that's not one I use either.
Categories: Magazine

10 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Mon, 10/02/2020 - 13:08
Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church, Church Ope Cove Wood and Church Ope Cove

A day of sunshine and blustery showers, as the remnants of Storm Ciara could still be felt along the South Coast. Fortunately, and its not often it happens, I managed to finish my walk before another big shower hit the island. A pretty heavy one at that which had a bit thunder and lightening accompanying it. I wasn't expecting that!!

Some good highlights today with 2 Firecrests in Penns Wood, another at the back of the cove, 5 Rock Pipits on the beach, the first here for quite sometime and just off the beach a few Herring Gulls, a Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Black-headed Gulls and a 1st Winter Common Gull.

Here are a few images and a video from today:
Church Ope Cove with Rufus Castle in the background.
Still some big waves out there.
Not as a big as those on Chesil Beach, which is probably just as well, otherwise I think the beach would disappear.
Just off the beach a 1st Winter Common Gull.
Also this Black-headed Gull picking "tit-bits" off the surface.
On the beach and for the first time in ages 5 Rock Pipits.
At the back of the Cove I came across a Firecrest, plus these two in Penns Wood.
Here is the other one.
A Kentish Snail
A White-lipped Banded Snail
Birds Recorded: Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Common Gull, Wood Pigeon, 5 Rock Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 3 Firecrest, 10+ Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, 1 Raven, Chaffinch, 7+ Linnet and Goldfinch

Slugs and Snails Recorded: White-lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea hortensis), Garden Snail (Cornu aspersa) and a Kentish Snail (Monacha cantiana)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

9 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Sun, 09/02/2020 - 19:58
Wakeham

Sadly no walk today as Storm Ciara brought in heavy rain and gusts to over 70mph on the island.

Here are a few images and videos taken by Dawn at Chesil Cove and from New Road this afternoon.







-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

8 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Sat, 08/02/2020 - 15:55
Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church and Church Ope Cove Wood
A bright sunny day and quite mild. The lull before the storm, as tomorrow Storm Ciara will be hitting the UK, with wind gusts expected to reach 80mph along the coast. More Here.

At least for the time being it was nice and it was great to find 3 Firecrests in Penns Wood, along with dozens of Chaffinches and Goldfinches.

Also about were 7 Wall Lizards in the grounds of St Andrew's Church soaking up the sun.

On the Hebes and Japonica, along my walk, there were Early BumblebeesHoney BeesMigrant HoverfliesMarmalade Hoverfly and an early Tapered Dronefly.

Along the pathway at the back of the cove a Common Shieldbug was on an Alexanders

Here are a few images from today:

A great comparison, a juvenile Wall Lizard next to 2 Garden Snails
An adult
And a Wall Lizard going through a moult.
A very brown individual.
And one that has lost its tail.
All together there were 7 Wall Lizards in the grounds of  St Andrew's Church
A few Honey Bees were out today, especially on the Hebes.
And I was a bit surprised to see this Tapered Dronefly on the Japonica in Penns Wood. At this time of year you are more likely to see Common Droneflies (Eristalis tenax) than Tapered Droneflies (Eristalis pertinax). The latter normally appear between March and November, peaking in May and August.

A Common Green Shieldbug
Birds Recorded: Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 3 Firecrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch

Reptiles Recorded: 7 Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Bees Recorded: Honey Bees (Apis mellifera), Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum) and Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Hoverflies Recorded: Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), Migrant Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis) and Tapered Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax)

Bugs and Beetles Recorded: 1 Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina)
Snails and Slugs Recorded: Garden Snail  (Cornu aspersa)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

7 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Fri, 07/02/2020 - 16:16
Top Fields and Crown Estate Fields

Another visit to the fields in the hope of catching a glimpse of a Short-eared Owl or even a Stock Dove. Well yet again I missed out on the former, but finally after 38 days I've managed to see my first Stock Dove of the year.

Also about were 2 Kestrels working the fields, plus 2 Buzzards sat on the fence posts.

A large flock of around 50 Linnet dropped into the Estate Fields, where there were small pockets of Chaffinch feeding on the fallen seeds. In the adjacent horse field a small flock of 20+ Starling were feeding.

Two Skylarks heard and a couple of Meadow Pipits passed through.

Just the one image.

From the Crown Estate Fields the Obs on the left and the Lighthouse on the right.

Birds Recorded: 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, 2 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 20+ Starling, Chaffinch and 50+ Linnet

Ships Today
This is the British Fishing Boat "Portland Isle" returning to Weymouth Harbour. More on this vessel Here.
Wakeham

A Tawny Owl heard at 4:10am this morning.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

Technology

Gavin Haigh - Fri, 07/02/2020 - 14:13
Yesterday I stumbled across an article written by Andrew Moon for the 2015 London Bird Report. Entitled 'Reminiscences of a London Birder', it is a captivating read. In addition to recounting some memorable moments, Andrew documents some of the changes he has witnessed in 45 years of birding in the London area. One topic he touches upon is something easily taken for granted these days...

Technology.

When it comes to communication and photography in particular, technology has wrought changes unimaginable a few decades ago. And the impact on birding is huge. To illustrate...

In 1985 I found two Temminck's Stints at Staines Res. To put news out you needed two things: a stock of 10p coins, and a notebook containing all your contact numbers. Actually, three things. Also a working public telephone. Well, surprise, surprise...that day I needed just the numbers, because a fellow birder who fortuitously turned up at that moment was the proud owner of a car-phone! He didn't know me from Adam, but gave me the key to his BMW and sent me off, promising to keep an eye on the birds. I spent the first minute of each call in two-way exclamations of shock and awe. 'Seriously, I'm phoning you from some bloke's car!' 'Really?! ' 'Yes!' 'No-o-o!' 'Yes!'

And look at us now...

I wonder how many younger folk today realise what was involved in pre-digital photography? For example, as an ex-Kodak employee I can tell you that Kodacolor film comprised a polyester backing upon which was coated a pack of eleven (if memory serves...) microscopically thin, discrete layers. Colour paper needed a mere eight layers, on a resin-coated, waterproof base. In both film and paper manufacturing multiple layers were coated simultaneously, and each contained a cocktail of chemicals suspended in molten animal gelatin. Clever application of the laws of physics prevented the layers from mixing. This hot coating was then rapidly chilled and set, progressively dried and conditioned, then spooled up, wrapped, and finally shipped off to be slit and chopped into consumer-sized pieces. Being a light-sensitive product, all this was carried out in the dark!

Considering the process involved in its manufacture, and the fact that silver was a necessary ingredient among a host of expensive chemicals, it's little wonder that photographic film and paper was relatively pricey. And it only struck me recently, but how did a conscientious vegan cope with photography back then? Gelatin was unavoidable.

In terms of hardware, anyone aiming to photograph birds would need a single lens reflex camera (SLR) and a long lens. I can remember using a light meter in the early 80s, and focusing manually, and needing at least a basic grasp of photographic principles. My gear was seriously budget, but I'm not sure whether even the best equipment had automatic focus and exposure? Perhaps an aged photographer can enlighten me? Anyway, so you would twitch the mega-rarity, make a load of wild guesses involving knobs and dials on your camera, and after a right load of faff wind up with a film cartridge containing 36 (or, with a bit of luck, 37) exposures of your subject. And then there was a trip to the shop (usually a chemist) to hand your film in, and a few days of hand-wringing anxiety later the nervous return trip to empty your wallet in exchange for a sealed package. Before opening it you would first seek a quiet spot, then unpeel the flap with shaking fingers. Inside you would find your processed negatives and corresponding prints. Shuffling through them would invariably reveal 36 (or, with a bit of luck, 37) photographs of a streaky blur. Hence the quiet spot. In those days nobody wanted to see a grown man cry.

And look at us now...
Categories: Magazine

6 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Thu, 06/02/2020 - 17:10
Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church, Church Ope Cove Wood, Church Ope Cove, Rufus Castle and Mermaid Track
A bright sunny day and feeling warmer than the 9.0°C on the outdoor thermometer.

Main highlights today were singles of Firecrests in Penns Wood and another at the back of the cove.

Surprisingly very few birds about, with Chaffinches being the most abundant bird with 10+ in Penns Wood and the same along the Mermaid track.

Also seen today were 2 Wall Lizards at the back of the cove close to the Hebe bush. A spot that I have never seen them before. In fact I nearly stood on one as it sat on a stone inches from the footpath.

The sun brought out the bees and there were dozens of Early Bumblebees and several Honey Bees on the Mahonia at the top of Penns Wood and also on sunlit Hebes around the cove.

Joining the bees I came across at least 8 Common Droneflies, 4 Marmalade Hoverflies, 2 Migrant Hoverflies, plus several flies. The ones I recognised were Phaonia subventa and Phaonia tuguriorum, both members of the Muscidae family.
Here are a few images from today:

One of the 2 Wall Lizards out at the back of the cove.
A Marmalade Hoverfly
This is a Migrant Hoverfly Meliscaeva auricollis. I first recorded this species on 27 Dec 17, so obviously a hoverfly like the Marmalade and Common Dronefly that doesn't mind the Winter sun.

Muscid Fly (Phaonia subventa)
This is another Muscidae Fly (Phaonia tuguriorum) and is one of the first flies to appear in the year. More on this fly Here.

This is the handiwork of the Golden Pygmy Moth caterpillar (Stigmella aurella) "mining" on a bramble leaf.

Ted enjoying the sun.
Birds Recorded: 1 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Firecrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, 20+ Chaffinch and Goldfinch
Reptiles Recorded: 2 Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Bees Recorded: 7+ Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) and 10+ Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum)

Hoverflies Recorded: 4 Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), 2 Migrant Hoverfly (Meliscaeva auricollis) and 8 Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax)

Flies, Gnats and Midges RecordedMuscid Fly (Phaonia subventa), Muscid Fly (Phaonia tuguriorum)

Wakeham

5:20am this morning and a Barn Owl flew over the Cottage.



Ships Today
This is the Dutch Cargo Ship "Alizee". It is on its way from Klaipeda (Lithuania) to Portland Harbour. More on this vessel Here. In the background St Aldhelm's Head.

This is the British yacht "Mintaka" on its way from Hamble Point into Weymouth Bay. Here it is just off St Aldhelm's Head. More on this vessel Here.

This is the British yacht "Cest Si Bon" on its way from Weymouth to an unknown destination. Here it is just off St Aldhelm's Head. More on this vessel Here.

This is the British Law Enforcement Ship "Solent Guardian" heading up Portland towards Weymouth Bay. More on this vessel Here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

5 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Wed, 05/02/2020 - 19:23
Lodmoor RSPB Reserve

I spent a couple of hours at Lodmoor this afternoon, in the hope of seeing/hearing the Penduline Tit that has been around for a week or so. I say Tit, as when I arrived it was apparent that birders were talking about 2 birds here and possibly another at neighbouring Radipole. Anyhow I didn't see or hear any of them, so I guess it didn't really matter how many there were.

I did however come across 3 Chiffchaffs and also watched 2 Spoonbills coming into land at close to the west Scrape.

The most numerous bird here today had to go to the Lapwings. I reckon there were probably in the region 500 birds, maybe more. I'm not quite sure why it kept happening, but ever so often they would all rise up from the ground, do a couple of laps around the reserve and then come back down to earth. Maybe they just like flying.

All around the reserve I came across small parties of Bearded Tits, and there are certainly more Reed Buntings about, especially a a few singing males. Still no sign of any Black-tailed Godwits, and it appears there are fewer Snipe.

The Water Rail are very vocal with their pig-like squeals and I did manage to see one bird flying across open water to get to another reed bed where it immediately started calling.

Another vocal bird which I think could have been a Little Grebe was at the north end of the reserve by the new bridge. Recording below.

Here are a few images from today:
Lodmoor RSPB Reserve which sits in the Lorton Valley Nature Park.
Two Spoonbills come into land.
Not quite synchronised but not far off.
A short clip of the Spoonbills.
I dont think I've ever seen so many Lapwings here before. They were constantly taking off and........
................then landing again.
They are sunning birds when you see them close-up.
A rare sight but I managed to see a Water Rail today. In most cases though you hear them, like this very vocal bird.
And it wasn't just the Water Rail calling, but what I can only assume is a Little Grebe singing.
And the Black Swan is still entertaining the visitors at Lodmoor.
And finally no walk would be complete without Ted having a buzz up and down the path. So much energy.
Birds Recorded: 1/2 Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, 2 Spoonbill, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, 1 Marsh Harrier, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, 500+ Lapwing, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, 9 Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, Bearded Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Reed Bunting
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

Super-Steve's Seaton Serin

Gavin Haigh - Wed, 05/02/2020 - 16:00
The only previous Axe Patch Serin was a November bird which flew past Steve during an Axe Cliff viz-mig watch more than a decade ago. It was a right gripper at the time, and as the years have gone by it's also become something of a blocker. Of course in those days Steve used to go birding. Unlike now. Now Steve has a family, and a serious 9-to-5 job, and a conscientiously responsible attitude toward both. Birding-wise this is a killer. Back in the day Steve was finding rare birds every other week. The man was a machine, and his ridiculous find rate is sorely missed by Axe Patch birders. However, the fact that Steve now only gets five minutes birding a month was the first item on the agenda at a recent Rare & Scarce Birds Association meeting, where the committee quickly realised it was a problem they could work around...

So, Steve Waite. How are we going to handle this?
Well, as he only gets five minutes a month nowadays we need to think about giving him something when he's not birding. Any suggestions?
What about when he's walking to work?
Excellent idea! We need a volunteer...
[A female Serin raises a wing]
Thank you. Oh, and don't forget to call a few times; he won't have binoculars.

And so it was that our Serin waited patiently for Steve to walk by yesterday morning, and then made sure she caught his attention. Unfortunately she botched it a bit. First, she forgot to give the usual ripply trill type flight call, and went for a rather more off-piste nasally thing. Plus she gave rubbish flight views (leaving Steve with all the frustration of a 'probable' sighting) and didn't hang about for someone else to nail later in the day. It is unlikely she'll be entrusted with such an important mission in future.

Today was her last chance...

Steve and I met up shortly before 08:00 this morning and headed for the Riverside Way area of Seaton. Within minutes we had a small bird fly over us. It might have been a Serin, it might not. But you know how it is in such situations; in the absence of a better option you just follow it up. And as the bird appeared to have come down behind the little trading estate, that's where we headed...

Strolling along, chatting and looking, and occasionally raising our bins at a Robin or Dunnock or something, we reached a corner and stopped, still nattering. Hmm...nothing. Suddenly a small bird popped out of the weeds and perched a few feet up in a spindly young tree, flashing a bright yellow rump en route! Both of us had caught it, and in unison exclaimed: 'That's it!' Sure enough, despite multiple obscuring twigs, we could see our prize - a streaky little female Serin - peering at us. Steve reminded me I had a camera, so I fumbled it out and got a few shots before the bird flew. And when it did fly it let rip with a short burst of classic Serin trill. Perfect!

Here are the best two photos. Almost identical, but not quite...

A beady eye and a stubby little bill. Quite clever how the P900 can thread its way through all those twigs and focus on the bird. Very pleasing.A tiny bit more rump visible in this shot, and some yellow wash on the head too.
Unfortunately that was it, performance-wise. And despite quite a few birders out looking, the next sighting wasn't until about 13:00. I spent some time this morning trying to relocate it, and was rewarded with a bonus Black Redstart on the SE corner of the Tesco housing estate...

Black Redstart. Another full zoom, hand-held pic.
Finally, both the Serin pics above have been colour-corrected, so to speak. In reality we were blessed with a lovely bit of early-morning sunshine, but of course that gives everything an incredibly warm glow. It is beautiful, but kind of overpowers the subtle yellow bits on the bird. Here's the top image, with the original lighting...

Sumptuously sun-soaked Seaton Serin
Categories: Magazine

4 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Tue, 04/02/2020 - 21:24
The Bill, The Slopes, West Cliffs, Top Fields and Crown Estate Fields.
A late afternoon trip to The Bill and the local fields. The weather was dry, for a change, but it was bitterly cold with a strong westerly breeze cutting across southern end of Portland.

By the Red Crane there were 5 Turnstone feeding in the shelter of the rocks there.

Further around I just managed to catch a flock of 11 Purple Sandpipers as they headed west around the Pulpit. I did see them briefly on the west facing ledges, but when I found a better viewing platform, they had moved on. Still lots of Guillemots and Razorbills out to sea, as well as a few Gannets.

On the West Cliff, just north of QinetiQ, I had absolutely amazing views of a Fulmar which popped up above the cliff within 6 feet of me. It did this 3 times, but it was very difficult to get a decent photo, it was just too close.

Next stop was the Top Fields to see the Short-eared Owl, which Erin (The Assistant Warden at the Obs) had seen flushed earlier by a Peregrine. I found the Peregrine plus its mate, 2 Buzzards and a Kestrel, but sadly no Shortie.

As I made my way back to the Obs via the Crown Estate Fields I watched a small murmuration of Starlings as they circled over the fields and around the Obs Lighthouse. Well I say murmuration, there were just 23 birds, but still good to watch despite the small flock.

Here are a few images from today:

Five Turnstones on the sheltered side of the Bill.......
..........busy feeding in the pools.
Seven of the 11 Purple Sandpipers that landed briefly to the west of the Pulpit before flying off.
Two of the 4 Fulmars flying alongside the cliffs
I did manage one shot of this Fulmar which was about just feet away from  me.
And I attempted to video it as well, until it moved off at speed.
And a mini Starling murmuration of 23 birds, flying around Obs.
Birds Recorded: 5 Fulmar, Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, 2 Buzzard, 2 Peregrine Falcon, 1 Kestrel, Pheasant, 11 Purple Sandpiper, 5 Turnstone, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Razorbill, Guillemot, Wood Pigeon, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, 1 Stonechat, Blackbird, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Raven, 20 Starling, House Sparrow and Chaffinch

Ships Today
This is the British Destroyer "HMS Dragon - D35" in Weymouth Bay. More on this vessel Here.
This is the British Frigate "HMS Lancaster - F229" just off the Bill. More on this vessel Here.
This is the Dutch Tanker "Sefarina" on its way from Fawley to Milford Haven. More on this vessel Here.
This is the French Fishing Boat "Maribelise" fishing in the English Channel a few miles off Portlnad. More on this vessel Here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.
2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

While the Sun Shines...

Gavin Haigh - Tue, 04/02/2020 - 20:37
I'm glad work takes me to the Seaton area. I would miss it otherwise, and probably have to find another excuse to visit. Pulling up at Coronation Corner shortly before midday I was delighted to see a lot of gulls. I even counted them (that's a first!) - the big ones anyway - and made it at least 1500. Almost all Herring Gulls. I couldn't face counting the hundreds of small ones though. My lunchtime sifting produced one measly Med Gull, which was pretty poor return for what must have been the best part of 3,000 gulls. Interestingly a mid-afternoon visit revealed a little arrival of Med Gulls, and I counted at least 10. Also there was a steady trickle of big gulls dropping in. Yet overall numbers looked the same or less, suggesting a turnover of birds. I think this quite often happens with the Axe gull population, and is part of the reason for my addiction to the darned things. Almost anything could have arrived since you had a look ten minutes ago, so you simply have to check them again. And again! Etc...

Today's star birds were actually ducks...

Four lovely Pintail. Pretty scarce on the Axe or its marshes.
When it comes to looks, drake Pintail are one of my favourites, so I was chuffed to spot these two pairs chugging up the river N of Coronation Corner. They eventually settled down over by the far bank, sheltering from the cold, blasting NW wind. I sypathised. It was pretty raw.

Near perfection in a duck.
After lunch I went hunting for a bird Steve had seen early this morning. A probable Serin had accosted him on his way to work. Knowing that he was without optics it chose to give him the most tantalising performance it could get away with...bar allowing him to nail it! Unfortunately I couldn't find it, and had to make do with a friendly Stonechat instead...

Nikon P900 at 1600mm zoom......and at full 2000mm zoom. Hand-held. ISO400, 1/320sec.
I am so pleased with this camera. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: many thanks to those who responded to my 'What camera should I get?' query back in October. I'm very glad I paid attention to the recommendations. The user-friendly versatility of the P900, plus the quality of its images, has added another level of enjoyment to my birding. Which brings me to something else...

On and off, NQS has been going since 2008. Although the earlier two incarnations are no longer extant, I can safely say that neither were ever as prolific as this one currently is. Since I posted 'My Happy Bird' on October 4th last year I've published 73 posts in four months (124 days) which is a bit more than one post every other day. I feel weirdly rejuvenated, with a new-found enthusiasm for both birding and writing. I cannot explain it. However, this prolificity (what a cool word!) is not totally out of character, and a pessimistic little voice in my head is telling me it won't last. Ah well... While the sun still shines, I shall make hay...

Categories: Magazine

3 Feb 20

Martin Adlam - Mon, 03/02/2020 - 18:55
Penns Wood, St Andrew's Church, Church Ope Cove Wood, Church Ope Cove Wood, Rufus Castle and Portland Museum
A late morning walk down to Church Ope Cove via Penns Wood. Highlights today were 2 Firecrests and a Goldcrest in Penns Wood and 2 more Firecrests at the back of the cove.

Also noted were 3 Early Bumblebees, a Buff-tailed Bumblebee and several small flies of 5 species.

The first fly was a Yellow Spear-winged Fly (Lonchoptera lutea), the second a Muscidae Fly (Phaonia tuguriorum), third a Dark-winged Fungus Gnat (Sciarid sp.), fourth a Scuttle Fly (Phorid sp.) and as yet 1 unidentified fly sp.
Also seen a Common Green Shield Bug in winter colours.

Here are a few images and a video from today:

A better shot of one of the two Firecrests in Penns Wood.
Here is the second bird.
Not a brilliant photo I'm afraid, but at least you can see the distinct difference between this Goldcrest and the Firecrests in the above photos.

A Common Green Shieldbug in Winter colours. Well at least I think it is. There's just something about it. Could it be a Red-legged Shieldbug.

This is the Muscidae Fly Phaonia tuguriorum and is one of the first flies to appear in the year. More on this fly Here.

This is a Yellow Spear-winged Fly (Lonchoptera lutea) on an Alexanders. More on this fly Here.
Just as I took a photo of this fly it....................
.................began "dancing" around on the leaf of this Alexanders and flashing its wings in an upwards motion. This is a member of Phoridaea family. Small, hump-backed flies resembling fruit flies. Sometimes known as the Scuttle Fly (Phorid sp.) due to its habit of running rapidly across a surface, rather than fly.

This is a Dark-winged Fungus Gnat (Sciarid sp.) of which there are many species.
I did well today identifying 4 flies, but sadly not with this one!!
And a Leafhopper (Empoasca vitis)
Mammals Recorded: Grey Squirrel
Birds Recorded: Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Firecrest, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow and Chaffinch
Bees Recorded: 3 Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum) and 1 Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)
Flies, Gnats and Midges Recorded: 1 Muscidae Fly (Phaonia tuguriorum), Yellow Spear-winged Fly (Lonchoptera lutea), Dark-winged Fungus Gnat (Sciarid sp.),  Scuttle Fly (Phorid sp.) and as yet 1 unidentified fly sp.
Leafhoppers Recorded: Empoasca vitis
Bugs and Beetles Recorded: 1 Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On this day..........2019
Today's Sightings Here.

2018
Today's Sightings Here.
Categories: Magazine

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