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Reports of interest, Thursday 25th October 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 20:57
Goosander - 1 Studland Littlesea is unusual at the location.
Red-Throated Diver - 1 Portland Bill.
Great White Egret - 1 Radipole Lake, 1 Studland Littlesea.
Cattle Egret - 6 in off the sea at Portland Bill.
Red Kite - 1 East Bexington.
Hen Harrier - 1 f/r Middlebere.
Merlin - 1 Durlston CP,
Golden Plover - 1 Winspit.
Greenshank - 1 Middlebere.
Spotted Redshank - 1 Middlebere.
Green Sandpiper - 1 Middlebere.
Yellow-Legged Gull - 1 Radipole Lake.
Short-Eared Owl - 1 Portland arguing with a Sparrowhawk.
Ring-Necked Parakeet - 5 Swanage allotments.
Woodlark - 1 Ballard Down, 7 East Bexington, 1 Middlebere, 1 Morden Bog.
Ring Ousel - 2 Portland.
Black Redstart - 2 Portland.
Yellow-Browed Warbler - 3 across Portland.
Firecrest - 3 Durlston CP, 1 Morden Bog, 1 Portland Bill.
Tree Sparrow - 2 Winspit.

Great White Egret at Radipole Lake © Clive Hargrave
Great White Egret at Radipole Lake © Clive Hargrave
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25 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Twenty Seven: Blainville's Beaked Whales

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 20:00
The first full day of five at sea between Ascension Island & Cape Verde on the Atlantic Odyssey had already produced my first South Polar Skua & a couple of pods of Short-finned Pilot Whales. There were also at least six Pantropical Spotted Dolphins, but these were distant & were interested in hunting, rather than coming in to check out the Plancius. My photos are barely record photos. We did have one final Cetacean highlight: a couple of female Blainville's Beaked Whales. They were picked up fairly close to the Plancius, but were moving South & the Plancius did not stop to try & allow us to get better views. However, there was time to get some photos before they passed us. We had seen on one on 16 Apr on the crossing between Tristan da Cunha & St Helena, but I hadn't managed to get any photos on that occasion.
Blainville's Beaked Whale Blainville's Beaked WhaleBlainville's Beaked WhaleBlainville's Beaked Whale
Blainville's Beaked Whales occur in temperate & tropical waters throughout the world & has the widest range of any of the Mesoplodon Beaked Whales. They occur around continental shelves, as well as, in deeper water. The largest Blainville's Beaked Whales are 4.7 metres long. They have relatively non-descript brownish-grey colouration and they typically have pale round or oval white scars & white scratch marks, especially on the males. They have a moderate sized beak. Males & females have an arched back of the jaw (which is great if you could see the head fully out of the water). Males also have tusks which protrude from the back of the jaw, so that the cheeks protrude above a flat-looking melon. The dorsal fin is small & located about two thirds along the length of the body.Blainville's Beaked Whale: The first individualBlainville's Beaked Whale: The dorsal fin of first individual finally breaking the surfaceBlainville's Beaked Whale: Both individuals (with the first individual on the left)Blainville's Beaked Whale: The beak of the second individual just breaks the surfaceBlainville's Beaked Whale: The second individualBlainville's Beaked Whale: The dorsal fin wasn't as obvious on the second individual
There was also a selection of Flying Fish & a few Portuguese Man-of-war seen.Bandwing Flying FishFour-winged Flying Fish
Portuguese Man-of-war
I not sure what think this is: It looks like the remains of part of a dead Fish, but perhaps its a Jellyfish spGlenn either chimping or having a crafty kip whilst pretending to check his photos
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25th October

Portland Bird Observatory - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 19:41
The first day with some real cloud cover, however brief, produced some of the migrants we have been patiently waiting for. The first Dartford Warbler for the autumn (and only the second for the year) was out on the slopes, a lone Corn Bunting was located within the Crown Estate Field with a second individual at Barleycrates Lane and 6 Cattle Egrets in off the sea were an excellent addition to the year totals. Today also saw our share of the recent movement of Crossbills with a day total of 8 across the island. Other birds of note included: a Red-throated Diver east past the Bill, two Ring Ouzels, 4 Mistle Thrushes, good numbers of both Fieldfares and Redwings, two Black Redstarts, a single Firecrest at the Obs, 3 Yellow-browed Warblers across the island, small numbers of Siskins and Redpolls and a Yellowhammer in the stubble fields.

A huge thank you to all our observers in the field today for sending us some cracking records as well as the pictures to accompany them. Corn Bunting and Dartford Warbler © Joe Stockwell, Great Spotted Woodpecker © Pete Saunders, Short-eared Owl/Sparrowhawk dog fight and Stonechat © Debby Saunders: 

And thanks to Joe for a couple of recordings from the morning - a flock of Crossbills over the Obs and a snippet of the dawn migrant finch soundscape there:

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25 Oct 18

Martin Adlam - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 16:20
Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Pools, Bumpers Lane, Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, Penn's Weare, St Andrew's Church and Penn's Wood.

You would think that covering all this area I would see or hear at least one of the Yellow-browed Warblers reported around Wakeham, but as my walk proved for the 4th day I seem to be the only one not finding them.

Only highlights this afternoon were a Chiffchaff in Broadcroft Quarry Lane, 1 in Bumpers Lane where there was also a Blackcap and another Chiffchaff in the grounds of St Andrew's Church.

Apart from that there wasn't anything else to report other than a solitary Ivy Bee at the top of Penns Wood by the road and a Common Drone Fly at Rufus Castle.

Here are a couple of images:

The view over Wakeham from Broadcroft Quarry Lane pools.
Church Ope Cove
A Kestrel overlooking The Cuttings.
Just the one Common Drone Fly seen today.
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24th October

Portland Bird Observatory - Wed, 10/24/2018 - 22:16
It's almost becoming tedious to report an unchanged weather situation but that was the case, with it so calm, sunny and warm by the afternoon that it felt a lot like being transported back to summer. Inevitably, the bulk of migrant numbers consisted of a short, sharp passage overhead shortly after dawn, when 8 Tree Sparrows were the pick of miscellany of seasonable fare over the Bill; with the exception of 20 Reed Buntings grounded totals there were insignificant but did include singles of Black Redstart and Firecrest. The day's oddities included a fly-by Tawny Pipit at the Bill - nearly the latest new arrival ever reported there - 3 Yellow-browed Warblers spread over the area to the north of the Grove, 2 Ring Ouzels still at the Verne and a Yellow-legged Gull at Ferrybridge.

Peregrine and Kestrel over the Bill © Martin King...

Yellow-legged Gull at Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders... 

Little Owl at the Bill © Martin Cade... 

...and this evening's full moon at the Bill © Martin King: 
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Reports of interest, Wednesday 24th October 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Wed, 10/24/2018 - 21:10
Goosander - 2 Ferrybridge.
Cattle Egret - 15 Loders, 2 Lodmoor.
Hen Harrier - 1 m Middlebere.
Merlin - 1 St Aldhelm's Head.
Golden Plover  - c.40 Eggardon Hill.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS - 1 still at Lodmoor.
Yellow-Legged Gull - 1 Ferrybridge.
Short-Eared Owl - 2 Portland.
Ring Ousel - 1 the Verne, Portland.
Yellow-Browed Warbler - 2 Grove area Portland.
Firecrest - 1 Durlston CP.
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24 Oct 18

Martin Adlam - Wed, 10/24/2018 - 18:11
Broadcroft Quarry Lane, Pools, Bumpers Lane, Rufus Castle, Penns Weare, S Andrew's Church and Penns Wood.

Another really warm and sunny day, which brought out the butterflies with a Clouded Yellow along Bumpers Lane and a Small Copper on Penn's Weare.

On the birding front lots of different finches recorded with 2 Redpoll over the lane, small flocks of Linnet and Chaffinches in several locations, 2 Siskins over Wakeham and in my back garden both Goldfinch and Greenfinch on the feeders.

Not much in the lane with just 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock and 2 Robins. Close by on Bumpers Bump the Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling again.

Along Bumpers Lane there was a small flock of 5 Long-tailed Tits with 3 Chiffchaff in tow. Also here were 2 Song Thrushes.

Penns Weare was very quiet with just Great Tit, Blue Tit and Dunnock. On the beach at Church Ope Cove there were 3 Rock Pipit.

St Andrew's Church sounded a bit more hopeful with another small flock of Long-tailed Tits, with 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrests keeping up with them. Also here 5 Wall Lizards and on the ivy a few Red Admirals.

Penns Wood was where I was hoping to catch the Yellow-browed Warbler which was here for the past 2 days. But as usual it was gone today. Just a few Goldcrests, a Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaffs were noted here.

Here are a few images from today:

A few Linnets in a Sycamore.......
........along Bumpers Lane..........
..........where this Kestrel was keeping an eye on them.
Further down Bumpers a small flock of Long-tailed Tits.
And great to see a few Chiffchaffs with them
In the grounds of St Andrew's Church a Wall Lizard..........
.........and a few more.
Birds Recorded: Kestrel, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 9+ Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 2 Redpoll, Linnet, 2 Siskin, Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

Butterflies Recorded: 4 Large White, 1 Clouded Yellow, 2 Speckled Wood, 4 Red Admiral and a Small Copper.
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25 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Twenty Seven: Close Views Of Short-finned Pilot Whales

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Wed, 10/24/2018 - 17:00
The first full day at sea on the Atlantic Odyssey got off to a good start with a good views of a dark phase South Polar Skua. That was the Seabird highlight of the day, but the Cetaceans were determines to also put on an equally good show for the Plancius. At the same time the South Polar Skua appeared, we also saw a close pod of Short-finned Pilot Whales. This pod didn't hang around for long, but there was time for a few photos as they passed by the Plancius.
Three of the first pod of Short-finned Pilot WhalesDuring the early afternoon, we encountered a larger pod of Short-finned Pilot Whales. The Expedition staff & Plancius's crew decided to stop the Plancius to allow prolonged views of the pod. Both species of Pilot Whales are very photogenic as they generally occur in pods of twenty or more individuals. Looking closer, the pod is made up of several smaller family groups. They tend to spend a fair percentage of their time on the surface & often do not seem to be in a hurry to move off, which also allows plenty of opportunities for photos.
Short-finned Pilot Whale: They are best separated from the similar looking Long-finned Pilot Whales on range as the all important fin which gives the two species their names are on the underside of the bodyShort-finned Pilot WhaleShort-finned Pilot WhaleShort-finned Pilot WhaleShort-finned Pilot Whale: The scars made this a very distinctive individual
Short-finned Pilot Whale: Another distinctive individual
Short-finned Pilot WhaleShort-finned Pilot WhaleShort-finned Pilot Whale: These nine were a larger group within the dispersed pod
Short-finned Pilot Whale: I think this is the first time I've seen a Pilot Whale fluke
This was another great Cetacean encounter on the Plancius.
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23rd October

Portland Bird Observatory - Tue, 10/23/2018 - 22:23
An excellent day for Woodpigeons; the totals of which reached 510 visible migrants. Stock Doves were also moving through with 87 passing by. Redwings, Bramblings, Siskins, Goldfinches and Linnets were also conspicuous although less so than in recent days. Birds of note included a single flyover Golden Plover, three Black Redstarts around the Bill area, a Common Redstart at Fancy's Farm, 8 Goldcrests within the Obs garden and Huts, and a lone Yellow-browed Warbler at Penn Castle was tied for highlight of the day with a pair of Yellowhammers (including an excellent male). 
Nick Hopper put in another stint recording nocturnal migrants for us on two consecutive nights starting on the 18th/19th with: 242 Redwing calls, 126 Song Thrush calls, 23 Blackbird calls, Meadow Pipit (a rare night caller), 2 Goldcrest, 2 Golden Plover, Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Snipe, 2 Black-headed Gull and Grey Heron. There was a little bit more quality on 19th/20th with a Gadwall being a surprise bird; a brief snatch of Cetti's Warbler song (a first nocturnal record for Portland) and a late Tree Pipit were also of note. Also logged were Ring Ouzel, 4 Fieldfare, 10 Blackbird, 182 Redwing calls, 59 Song Thrush calls, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Skylark, 2 Redshank, Golden Plover, Lapwing, 2 Common Snipe, 2 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatcher and 2 Black-headed Gull
At first hearing the calls of the Gadwall sound a lot like someone with a duck caller - it would have had to have been a very good one though as even the sonogram matches!

Black Redstart and Wheatear at the Bill today © Martin King: 

Not the day we were hoping for bird-wise but a pretty spectacular sunset kept everyone at the obs smiling © Martin King (top and middle) and Paul Hopwood (bottom):

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Reports of interest, Tuesday 23rd October 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Tue, 10/23/2018 - 21:51
Black-Throated Diver - 1 Poole Harbour mouth.
Red-Throated Diver - 1 East Bexington.
Great White Egret - 1 Brownsea Island.
Cattle Egret - 2 east of Wareham causeway.
Spoonbill - 30 Brownsea Island.
Marsh Harrier - 1 Christchurch Harbour.
Hen Harrier - 1 f Hartland/Slepe.
Merlin - 1 East Bexington, 1 Slepe.
Short-Eared Owl - 1 Arne Moors.
Woodlark - 1 Ballard Down, 2 East Bexington.
Firecrest - 1 Hengistbury.
Brambling - 3+ Ballard Down, 2 Hengistbury.

Possible wildlife crime at RSPB Lodmoor Nature Reserve:
Dorset Police alerted the RSPB to the presence of five males who have known links to wildlife crime at RSPB Lodmoor nature reserve on the 17th October. They were seen with a large net and drove a black Suzuki Vitara. It’s not known what their intentions were but their behaviour was clearly suspicious and was logged by the Police. A further possible incident took place 21st October when two males were seen lifting a ‘cage’ from the sluice along Preston Beach Road but again there’s no suggestion of their intention. Due to these incidents please look out for anything suspicious at RSPB Lodmoor and report it to the Police via 101 and if you see a crime taking place please do not hesitate to ring 999. More eyes looking the better!
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23 Oct 18

Martin Adlam - Tue, 10/23/2018 - 20:17
Horse Paddocks and Broadcroft Quarry Lane

In the paddocks several Meadow Pipit, Linnet and 40+ Starlings, whilst along the lane just 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Robins and a Song Thrush.

Meadow Pipit
Birds Recorded: 2 Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, 3 Skylark, 8 Meadow Pipit, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Chiffchaff, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 40+ Starling, House Sparrow, 10+ Chaffinch, 9 Linnet, 5 Goldfinch and 4 Greenfinch.
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25 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Twenty Seven: A Family Set

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Tue, 10/23/2018 - 18:00
It was a dramatic start to the day with a stunning dawn light on the first morning of our last five day leg of the Odyssey from Ascension Island to Cape Verde. Dawn looked to be more like a sunset, especially if the photo is underexposed a bit. The threatening clouds disappeared during the day & left us with air temperatures of 30 degrees C, with a sea temperature that was only slightly cooler.
Dawn on the PlanciusI was pleased I had got up early, as about 07:20 a shout went up for a Skua flying above the deck. Looking at it, I could see that it was a large Skua & immediately thought it might be a South Polar Skua given they often wander this far North. The only other likely candidate for a large Skua was a Bonxie. But it didn't look like a Bonxie on my initial views & it would have been a a very Southerly record for a Bonxie. There are Bonxie records as far South as Cape Verde & Senegal, but the Cape Verde Islands were still five days sailing away. I lifted the camera up to get some photos while it was close. Fortunately, the photos confirmed it was a dark phase South Polar Skua. I had finally seen my last Skua species. Based on Clements taxonomy, I have seen all the Skuas this year on either the trip to Estancia Harberton on the day before I joined the Plancius or on at least one day on the Plancius.
South Polar Skua: It was clearly a large, thickset Skua with a prominent while underwing flashSouth Polar Skua: I was looking for a pale collar, but I couldn't see it on these initial viewsSouth Polar Skua: Having checked us out, it quickly departed, whilst showing it bulky body & confirming the white wing flash was also prominent on the upperwingSouth Polar Skua: Finally, a suggestion of a pale collar contrasting with the dark upperpartsSouth Polar Skua: A clearer view of the pale collar contrasting with the dark upperparts & strong white wing flashesSouth Polar Skua: The collar wasn't as obvious when it briefly sat on the waterSouth Polar Skua: Whilst the photo isn't sharp, it does show that the South Polar Skua was a lot browner when the sun caught the body, but it doesn't have the warmer brown colours I normally expect for a BonxieThis was only our third South Polar Skua sighting for the Odyssey. The first I missed as I wasn't on deck early enough on 31 Mar: The seasickness tablets were still leaving me sleepy in the early mornings at the time. The second Hans saw close to the Plancius on 21 Apr, while everybody was at breakfast. I was one of the first back on deck after breakfast & Hans & I had views of a large, but very distant, Skua which was most likely to have been the same individual on its final circling of the Plancius. But it was too far to be sure. So, I was pleased to have finally seen a South Polar Skua & completed the set of Skuas.South Polar Skua: A final shot as it headed off. Overall, the South Polar Skua was on view for just five minutes & it was another example of why it was important to spent as much time on deck as possibleThere was a reasonable selection of other Seabirds seen during the day, but few were seen close to the Plancius. My species list included three Cory's Shearwaters, a couple of Band-rumped Storm-petrels, as well as, at least forty Leach's Storm-petrels. There were also five Long-tailed Skuas, a couple each of Common Noddies & White-capped Noddies and several hundred Sooty Terns.
Leach's Storm-petrelLeach's Storm-petrel: A second photo of the same individual
Leach's Storm-petrel: A final photo of the same individual
Leach's Storm-petrel: A second individual
Leach's Storm-petrel: A third individual
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22nd October

Portland Bird Observatory - Mon, 10/22/2018 - 23:56
Plenty more clear skies and sunshine to enjoy today but, as expected, migrants numbers were nothing to get excited about. New Yellow-browed Warblers dropped in at the Obs and Pennsylvania Castle, 3 Ring Ouzels were still at the Verne and 2 Black Redstarts and singles of Hobby, Firecrest, Tree Sparrow and Yellowhammer at the Bill were worth a mention. The assortment of commoner fare on the ground and overhead included most of what would be expected but with the exception of 25 Reed Buntings at the Bill numbers were well below average for late October.

The insect highlight was a Vagrant Emperor at Gore Quarry (near the junction of Weston Street and Southwell Street); a Red-veined Darter was at Coombefield and Clouded Yellows were still on the wing at many sites. Two more Radford's Flame Shoulders and a Vestal were the pick of a surprisingly good haul of immigrants from the Obs moth-traps.

The last few years have seen a remarkable surge in Vagrant Emperor records at Portland but, since the majority of reports have been of flying insects seen just briefly, it remains a really tricky species to actually get to grips with on the island; Joe deserves a lot of credit for following up yesterday's sighting and managing to find this settled specimen a few hundred metres away © Joe Stockwell:

Yellowhammer from the mist-nets in our Stewardship crops in the Crown Estate Field © Martin Cade:

The clear skies of recent days have afforded plenty of nice photo opportunities © Martin King:

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Sightings - Monday 22nd October 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Mon, 10/22/2018 - 21:33
Cattle Egret - 7 Abbotsbury Swannery, 1 StoboroughGreat Egret - 1 Longham LakesSpoonbill - 26 Brownsea Island lagoonLesser Yellowlegs - 1 LodmoorAvocet - 500 Brownsea Island lagoonShort-eared Owl - 7 Portland Bill (yesterday)Fieldfare - 40 MiddlebereRedwing - 7 Christchurch HarbourYellow-browed Warbler - 1 Hengistbury Head, 1 Portland Obs
Possible wildlife crime at RSPB Lodmoor Nature Reserve –
Dorset Police alerted the RSPB to the presence of five males who have known links to wildlife crime at RSPB Lodmoor nature reserve on the 17th October. They were seen with a large net and drove a black Suzuki Vitara. It’s not known what their intentions were but their behaviour was clearly suspicious and was logged by the Police. A further possible incident took place 21st October when two males were seen lifting a ‘cage’ from the sluice along Preston Beach Road but again there’s no suggestion of their intention. Due to these incidents please look out for anything suspicious at RSPB Lodmoor and report it to the Police via 101 and if you see a crime taking place please do not hesitate to ring 999. More eyes looking the better!

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24 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Twenty Six: Ascension Island Band-rumped Storm-petrels

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Mon, 10/22/2018 - 19:30
There was one final Seabird I wanted to see around Ascension Island: the Ascension Island population of Band-rumped Storm-petrels. I had seen a few Band-rumped Storm-petrels on the day before we reached Ascension Island. However, as we were around 150 nautical miles from the island, there is no certainty they were from the Ascension Island population. A few Birders had seen some around Boatswainbird Island on the first visit, but they they were brief sightings & none were seen from the bridge wing where I was standing. Therefore, as we were weighing anchor to leave Ascension Island, I headed back to the bridge wing with a fresh mug of coffee & with no intention of leaving my vantage position until I seen some Band-rumped Storm-petrels or it got dark. There were none around Boatswainbird Island, but fortunately, I picked up the first of at least eight as we were finally sailing away from Ascension Island.
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: Like the St Helena population, they show a slightly forked tail, a prominent clean-cut white rump & prominent pale wingbarBand-rumped Storm-petrel: The white rump extends well down the sides of the rumpBand-rumped Storm-petrel: Another view of the same individualBand-rumped Storm-petrel: Another view of the same individualBand-rumped Storm-petrel: A better view of the sides of the rumpBand-rumped Storm-petrel: An underwing shot of the same individualBand-rumped Storm-petrel: A final underwing shot of the same individual
Band-rumped Storm-petrel taxonomy is complex. A few years ago, Band-rumped Storm-petrels were understood to breed on islands in the Tropical Atlantic & Pacific Oceans, including the Portuguese Berlengas Islands, Madeira, Canaries, Azores, Cape Verde, Ascension Island, St Helena, as well as, the Galapagos, Hawaii & islands belonging to Japan. In the last decade, studies into the breeding times of year, DNA, vocalisation & morphology have identified that there are probably three additional species which breed on the Tropical North Atlantic islands. Studies of the Band-rumped Storm-petrels which breed on Ascension Island & St Helena are only just starting, but there must be a reasonable chance of additional splits of these populations once these studies have been completed. We had had good views of many Band-rumped Storm-petrels on St Helena & now we had seen & photographed individuals from the Ascension Island population.Band-rumped Storm-petrel: The second individual didn't come very closeBand-rumped Storm-petrel: Another photo of the second individual showing the extensive white sides to the rump
The third Band-rumped Storm-petrel was a heavily worn individual.
Band-rumped Storm-petrel: Note, the worn plumage & active wing moultBand-rumped Storm-petrel: This was a much tattier & worn individualBand-rumped Storm-petrelBand-rumped Storm-petrel: Note, the wing moultBand-rumped Storm-petrel: It didn't show the crisp clean markings of the first two individualsBand-rumped Storm-petrelBand-rumped Storm-petrelBand-rumped Storm-petrel: A final show of the third individual disappearingThere were also a few Leach's Storm-petrels. They were longer-winged & had a variable dark band through the centre of the white rump.
Leach's Storm-petrel: This individual has a very distinctive black band through the centre of the rumpLeach's Storm-petrel: The tail is deeper forked than the Band-tailed Storm-petrelsLeach's Storm-petrel: The feet also project beyond the tail in this one photoLeach's Storm-petrel: Another photo of the same individualLeach's Storm-petrel: The upper wing bar is also very obviousLeach's Storm-petrel: The white sides to the rump are not as obvious as on the Band-tailed Storm-petrelsLeach's Storm-petrel: A final view of this first individual showing that the wings are longer, the white on the sides of the rump are less extensive & the tail is deeper forked than the Band-rumped Storm-petrelsFinally, some photos of a second Leach's Storm-petrel.
Leach's Storm-petrel: Superficially this looks like a Band-rumped Storm-petrelLeach's Storm-petrel: However, it looks longer-winged & shows a dark bar across this centre of the white rumpLeach's Storm-petrel: Unusually, this individual doesn't appear to have a forked tailLeach's Storm-petrel: The white is less extensive on the sides of the rump
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22 Oct 18

Martin Adlam - Mon, 10/22/2018 - 12:15
Broadcroft Quarry Lane and Horse Paddocks

If I thought the lane was quiet yesterday, then I was very much mistaken. Today's species list was just 1 Chiffchaff and a Robin.

However I did fair a bit better in the lower paddock with a late Wheatear. Also here but flying through were 5 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Linnet and 3 Siskin.

The only other bit of excitement was when I returned home to find 3 Goldfinches and 2 Greenfinches on the feeders.

Here are a few images from this morning.

Just this side of the big white house a Wheatear was taking shelter from the north-easterly wind.
First stop the brambles.
Then a bit of a balancing trick on the fence.
A quick look to see what's around.
And then back in the lower paddock to continue feeding.
Birds Recorded: 1 Kestrel, 4 Herring Gull, 8 Wood Pigeon, 5 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, 1 Wheatear, Blackbird, 1 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, 6 Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 5 Starling, House Sparrow, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Linnet, 3 Siskin, Goldfinch and 2 Greenfinch.

Butterflies Recorded: 1 Red Admiral
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21st October

Portland Bird Observatory - Sun, 10/21/2018 - 23:12
With barely a sniff of a change in the conditions it was no surprise that the birding remained very samey, with 2 Yellow-browed Warblers at both the Obs and Southwell School, 2 Ring Ouzels at the Verne, singles of Black Redstart at the Bill and Blacknor, and singles of Firecrest and Yellowhammer at the Bill providing some pretty low-key highlights around the island. Grounded totals included 25 each of Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Reed Bunting at the Bill, whilst 500 Wood Pigeons overhead there was as good as it got on the visible passage front.

A miscellaneous selection of other natural history interest included a Vagrant Emperor dragonfly and 4 Red-veined Darters seen in the Cheyne Weare/Church Ope Cove area during the afternoon, another 2 Radford's Flame Shoulders trapped overnight at the Obs and a Brown Long-eared Bat caught at dawn in a mist-net at the Obs.
*If Steven Guy happens to look in on the blog do please get in touch as we'd very much like to share your photos of the Vagrant Emperor here*
There was a time when bats were caught quite frequently in the Obs garden mist-nets but that certainly hasn't been the case for some years so it quite a novelty when this Brown Long-eared Bat was trapped there at dawn; we have several old records of this species having been caught at the Obs and it'll be interesting to see if the static bat detector deployed there provides evidence that they're resident or just strays/migrants © Martin Cade/Fergus Henderson:
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Sightings - Sunday 21st October 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Sun, 10/21/2018 - 21:03
Ring-necked Duck - 1 Lodmoor
Cattle Egret - 4 Abbotsbury Swannery
Great Egret - 1 Lytchett Fields
Osprey - 1 over Char Valley near Wooton
Lesser Yellowlegs - 1 Lodmoor
Short-eared Owl - up to 4 Stanpit Marsh
Wryneck - 1 Longham Lakes
Jackdaw - 2180 over West Bay
Black Redstart - 1 Blacknor
Yellow-browed Warbler - 1 Charmouth, 1 Ballard Down, 1 Osmington Mills, 1 Durlston CP, 1 Blacknor, 2 Reap Lane
Wryneck Longham Lakes copyright David Foster

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21 Oct 18

Martin Adlam - Sun, 10/21/2018 - 16:52
Broadcroft Quarry Lane, The Cuttings, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Penns Wood

Another very warm Autumn day, with little wind and cloudless skies. The lane was quiet again with just 1 Song Thrush, 2 Blackbirds and 2 Chiffchaffs. Overhead 5 Chaffinches and a Siskin.

From The Cuttings there were 2 Chiffchaffs calling from down in Penns Weare, where a small flock of Long-tailed Tits passed through with a Goldcrest following close by. Also here a Clouded Yellow butterfly.

In the grounds of St Andrew's Church just 2 Wall Lizards seen, a Red Admiral on the Ivy and lots of wasps and Common Drone Flies.

Not a lot in Penns Wood either with just a Speckled Wood and a few Harlequin Ladybirds.

Here are a few images from this afternoon:

The local Kestrel over the lower horse paddock........
.........before taking a break.
A Common Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus)
Common Drone Fly
Red Admiral
Pied Hoverfly
A Syrphus hoverfly sp.
Ivy Bee
Ivy Bee
Ivy Bee
Birds Recorded: 1 Cormorant, Buzzard, Kestrel, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 2 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Robin, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 8 Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, 8 Chaffinch, Linnet, 1 Siskin and Goldfinch.

Butterflies Recorded: 5 Red Admiral, 1 Clouded Yellow, 2 Large White, 3 Speckled Wood.

Also recorded: 2 Wall Lizards, 20+ Ivy Bees, Honey Bees, Buff-tailed Bumblebeewasps sp., Common Drone Flies, Pied Hoverfly and Syrphus hoverfly sp.
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